Waiting for a Biopsy Report

by Elisavietta Ritchie

Elisavietta Ritchie

To get a crack at immortality:
leave better work. Stop hanging out
the wash…Yet life eclipses literature

though pinning wet clothes
by the inlet, cattail-framed,
on a sun-struck day, forms a haiku.

On the line, a spider spins
her web between the lover's shirt
and a black lace slip: an untold tale.

The three-year-old, pumpkin-haired,
sprints at billowing sheets:
this Don Quixote writes his own book.

A puzzled hummingbird probes
crimson blossoms on the waving blouse—
Merely blood from punctured skin.

Red ink of malignancy?
Best tend to the garden where
summer's last tomatoes hang

blotched by hornworms, bottom rot,
but still good if the bad's cut out,
save what you can.

Quickly plant before first frost
winter spinach, lettuce, chard…
Who will be here to harvest?

Hang the world, over-rife with growth
and love and fear and death. While waiting
for the wash to dry, the phone to ring, write.

Last updated August 20, 2017