Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Red Shift


Better.  Back home.  Optimism flickers
on and off like a neon sign, like belief itself.

The young Thai surgeon in Phitsanulok with
good English and better bedside manner
draws an atomically correct picture of
my gut and says you have a stricture
right there, then puts his hands on
my tummy at the spot.  It’s an odd
feeling.  He wants to get at my belly.
I will call him Dr. Scissorhands.

Depression walks hand-in-hand with
illness, but it also is the secret sharer
of optimism as well. I am better but
depressed for everywhere I look I am
indebted to others.

Look far out into space to the Pillars
of Creation and toward them I am
a red dot, a deepening red-shift of shame
for not having enough money, for not
being able to take care of myself.
I gain speed every second, moving away.

In forty years or so I may pass out of
the solar system leaving everything.
This is the new me.  I hear myself say,
“deal with it.”  I’ve lost so much weight
I hardly recognize my voice.

Surrounded by the blackness of deep space,
the new me thinks over and over
OK, but how?

FG           3/24/2016

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