Not on the List

By Alison Stone

A shrub flames

with God’s word. A wrecked car

dangles from a cliff

until help comes.

Tumors vanish like smoke. A lover

wakes from a coma and asks

for coffee with milk.


Our deepest prayers answered


the rest of us get

diapers, morphine, feeding tubes,

daily losses and indignities, implacable

as the sulky lump of an aid

who plunks herself in our best chair, reads

the Bible, and won’t bathe my mother

because that isn’t on her list.

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