Touch: The Journal of Healing



Macular Degeneration: The Box of Rice Krispies

and Bag of Marshmallows on the Pharmacy Counter

    by Sherry O'Keefe

Both eyes dilated I'm worrying while I wait my

turn to speak with the pharmacist. Woodstock is

the name I give the lady ahead of me in line, groovy

hair and faded skin, wide set eyes painted

from the late 60s. Her fringed purse sways

and sweeps the tile floor each time she moves

forward. She's become my friend and I've become

her buddy. Since the diagnosis, I don't think as

clearly. I'm not exactly the best person

for her to ask if Darvocet and the appointment

tomorrow with the bone specialist will cost more than

the two hundred dollars she got paid

today, two nights since her daughter fell

and cracked her knee at Storyland, a week from her car

dying at the corner of Wicks & Main. Maybe if

there's extra money she will make her daughter

her favorite treat. The lady behind

me, I would like to call her

Marge, hangs her cane on her grocery cart and leans

in listening to our talk, asks in an opening

if I am strong enough to open her jug

of apple juice. Nobody is left at home, she says, to

help her, and she hates to ask the bus driver who drops

her at Bitterroot & Judith Lane, kitty-corner

from her house, the one painted turquoise. I should

stop by sometime ... she would make me breakfast.

I could crack the eggs, she would pour the juice.

© 2011 Sherry O'Keefe

Sherry O’Keefe, a descendent of Montana pioneers and graduate of MSU-B, is the author of Making Good Use of August (Finishing Line Press). Her most current work has appeared or is forthcoming in Camas, Switched-on Gutenberg, THEMA, Terrain. Org., PANK, Avatar Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Babel Fruit, The High Desert Journal and Main Street Rag. Currently working on a full-length collection, Loss of Ignition, she is the poetry editor for Soundzine,and an editorial assistant for The Centrifugal Eye.

Copyright © 2011

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.