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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Heart Murmur


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The doctor says she hears you, a little whoosh-weet
where there should be lub-DUB.  Apparently, you’ve
requested an ECG – though you never asked me. 
What else are you whispering in there, my heart,
when no one is listening?  Do you mumble
about lost loves, old dogs let go, the way loneliness
rakes you over the coals?  Do you sit and sigh
about childhood, the negligence endured like a storm,
slammed around by the cruelty of so-called adults?
My heart, do you talk in your sleep?  Call out
names, thrash in that nightmare where you must
save all the babies, over and over? Gossip epigenetic
ramblings from the maternal lineage of an ancestral
beating?  Poor thing.  Worn out from all this work
and worry.  Now, like some ancient crone in her rocker,
you mutter and stutter to yourself, incomplete sentence
here, cuss word there.  I’m sorry.  I could have taken
more walks, kicked this sugar addiction, kept diabetes
at bay with a big stick.  I should have tried harder.
I’m listening now, my heart.  Blame everyone
else, but you belong to me.  If the world has broken
you, I’ll hold you, sweet heart, I’ll sing you a lullaby.
Dear heart, grumble away your woes, and I,
I will listen like a stethoscope pressed to your body,
the silkiest of steel; I will remind you that the kindness
of strangers is like gold dust brushed into your cracks. 
Together, we’ll learn the art of mending.  I’ll burnish
bright those scars mapped in your muscle, corazón,
and you can murmur sweet nothings in my ear.

Deborah A. Miranda

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