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I Have Good News.

 When you are sick for the last time in your life, walking around,
shaky, frail with your final illness, feeling the space between yourself
and other people
 grow wider and wider like the gap between a rowboat and its dock-- you
will begin to see the plants and flowers of your youth.
And they will look as new to you as they did then-- little lavender
bouquets arranged in solar systems delicate beyond your comprehension:
the dark gold buttons with the purple manes; the swan-white throat
splashed with radish-colored flecks; the threadlike stalks that end in
They are where you left them, by the bus stop bench; along the
chain-link fence behind the widow's house. And you shall squat down
on your haunches
and gaze at them, just as you did before. Because this restitution of
your heart is coming, you need not fear the indignities of death and
growing old.
The synagogue of weed-head will be your evidence that every moment is
not trampled by the march of all the rest.
It doesn't matter if you end up angry and alone, pulling the
trigger of the morphine feed repeatedly; it doesn't matter if you
whimpering into the railing of the hospital bed; refusing to see
visitors, smelling your own body in the dawn.
The dark ending does not cancel out the brightness of the middle. Your
day of greatest joy cannot be dimmed by any shame. Sunlight gilds the
traffic out on Kirby Boulevard. The honeysuckle vine braids in and out
the spokes of the abandoned bicycle. 

TONY HOAG LAND is the author of five volumes of poetry: Application for Release from the Dream; Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty; Sweet Ruin, winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry; Donkey Cospel, winner of the James Laughlin Award of The Academy of American Poets; and What Narcissism Means to Me, all from Craywolf Press. He is also the author of two collections of essays about poetry, Real Sofistakashun and Twenty Poems That Could Save America, as well as the chapbook Don't Tell Anyone.

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Title Annotation:six poems
Author:Hoagland, Tony
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:May 1, 2015
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