On the News of Your Illness
The slivers run their course,
And the bad eye can now burn with accuracy.
The cough? What cough?
What stinging rubber band against your wrist?
The sneeze moves the leaves of the potted plant.
A dab of lotion solves the scaly hand.
The knuckle accepts the rap,
The knee goes only so far
And walking is so overrated.
Heal yourself, daughter. Kisses help,
Handholding, snow caught in your hair.
Daughter, lovely daughter, be with us.
Let the thing inside you pass without warning.
Don’t be like the cloud, thin and sailing away,
The dark birds like commas,
Then ellipsis in the far distance,
An uncompleted life.
Copyright © 2016 by Gary Soto. Used with permission of the author.