A Gathering of Relatives Vague and Near

A Gathering of Relatives Vague and Near
by david labounty
in loose skin
she told me about
her job as
a billing clerk
in a private hospital
run by the Church
and how her
job is that
much harder
because of
all the immigrants
that come into
the emergency room
and how most
of them can’t
speak English
and don’t
have addresses
and of course
they never have
insurance and
that’s what
makes everything
cost so much
when you go
to the hospital,
she said and
I had to turn
away because
of the smell
of stale alcohol
recycled by
stomach and
breath and
blood and it
oozed out
of her pores
and she
started to
cough as she
dug into her
purse first
for her cigarettes
and then
her inhaler.

0 thoughts on “A Gathering of Relatives Vague and Near

  1. Like a kaleidoscope insight into the true nature of mankind (and womankind) this poem’s story illustrates hypocrisy with a capital ‘H’! The 2-3 words per line, though long in vertical length, works very well (for me, at least). I found myself plucking the words quickly off the screen to see what unfolded.
    The b-w pic goes pretty good with poem…man is that one long-ass cigarette!
    The title, “A Gathering of Relatives Vague and Near” at first would likely indicate a poem about one’s family…but upon closer examination, the title (especially ‘relatives’) seems to point to something else…namely opinions or perspectives ‘relative’ to the poem’s anti-heroine piled one upon the other which in the end are made less viable by the lady’s nicotene fits. Anyway, great read! Thx.

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