Youngest daughter’s baby burning
up, during fiddling with old plus kaput
thermometers when it would cost nearly nada
for almost sci-fi high-tech new ones, first son’s ornery
streak is determined I should emulate
my Surgeon Father may he rest in peace
by trucking down into town to seek instead
what turned out to be a surprisingly rare battery
needs to be way too delicately replaced
for Mister Klutz to fix easily. Meanwhile
both spouses for 50 years take temperatures
regarding current prospects of just how long
each of us apparently wants to live.
She has extremely strong feelings based on
observing matching sets of demented cold fish
parents that another decade or so quite probably
about would do it concerning her,
although he seems much more likely
to wish to hang onto existence as long as
possible, thusly triggering his tearful wife to
blurt a screed familiar to our nuclear family, Now we
DON’T want to be any kind of bother to grand/children!
which is the exact moment I usually choose to deflect eyes
— this time continuing to futz with damn devices won’t work.
Gerard Sarnat is a physician who’s built and staffed homeless and prison clinics as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. He won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is published in academic-related journals including Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Virginia Commonwealth, Arkansas, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, Slippery Rock, Appalachian State and the University of Edinburgh. Gerry’s writing has also appeared widely including recently in such U.S. outlets as Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, American Journal Of Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Blue Mountain Review, Danse Macabre, Canary Eco, Fiction Southeast, Military Experience and the Arts, Cliterature, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review and The New York Times. Pieces have also been accepted by Chinese, Bangladeshi, Hong Kongese, Singaporian, Canadian, English, Irish, Scotch, Australian, New Zealander, French, German, Indian, Israeli, Swedish and Fijian among other international publications. KADDISH FOR THE COUNTRY was selected for pamphlet distribution nationwide on Inauguration Day 2016. Amber Of Memory was chosen for the 50th Harvard reunion Dylan symposium. He’s also authored the collections Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), and Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry’s been married since 1969, with three kids plus five grandkids.