You talk about not needing a man in your life, maybe for the rest of your life, that
comets and chocolates make fine substitutes; that poetry is elixir & dope & courier.
I heard the sirens downtown
on my morning walk & wondered why they selected such shrieking violence to let
us know that someone just fell off the roof while sweeping leaves & wet, slick moss,
flying into concrete sidewalk, shattering bones into bisque. Did he have a woman
in his life who nervously dialed 9-1-1
while he lay on curb with blood trickling from his nostrils? Did he know when he
lifted himself from his warm bed that such a thing could – would – happen to him
this morning? There’s always a lesson to be learned, leaves with their stories of trees,
anecdotes of the boastful oak next door, the maple who never stops talking, the pines
who stand erect like soldiers, peering into windows such as yours, sworn to silence
by resin and reason. The trees always know before we do. I imagine they strapped him
into a dirty gurney & rushed him to the ER for an initial check of vitals. Where’s the
origin of the blood? Is he conscious and does he know the date & his name? Can he
tell them exactly what happened? Are his pupils dilated? Is his wife there yet & did she
call the kids or will she wait until she has a diagnosis? And does she have a Dove bar
in her belongings? What will she do if her man doesn’t make it? Will she see shooting
stars when the surgeon tells her the bad news? And will chocolate ever taste the same?
Whether John Dorroh taught any high school science is still being discussed. However, he managed to show up every morning at 6:45 for a couple of decades with at least two lesson plans and a thermos of robust Colombian. His poetry has appeared in about 75 journals, including Dime Show Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Os Pressan, Feral, Selcouth Station, and Pinyon. He also writes short fiction and the occasional rant.