Elizabyth Hiscox

The Pedestal

In hindsight this could be when it started
Stumbling: smile. Embarrassed late October jog.

Patient has no family history of this kind of problem

She is a rebel in this illness business.

MRIs done in 96 and 97 and the doctors found no lesions did not think

Remember? Whirl of light there just beyond your face.
Bowels are also wrapped in muscle that can become weak
A shitting-yourself, shitting-others future.
Some relief can be achieved with tilting of the chair or bed
The mind is working, skin is trying-on slow sores.
The purpose of the transfer board is to take the weight off the caregivers
The heart’s real purpose: pump the weight of life. Of
A therapist must come to the home for an appropriate assessment
A stranger walks past nodding Iris planted deep,
those purple blooms, from Kim’s third birthday: underfoot.
A stranger walks where you have kneeled and felt the earth.
This ankle is more frozen than the other side
That ice that took the legs is sheltering still, here.
One could be pushed into low levels of oxygen in the blood
Already one’s been pushed past all of it, come back.
Some is genetics, some isn’t, some is genetic predisposition
So there is daughter one. There’s two. Say promise, time.
Patient born at White Sands New Mexico
They said to finish families up before arrival.
On base, in that New Mexico, you cried your birth.
Is this your daughter? It’s good in times like these to have had kids.
This eggshell-puncture sickness thickens blood to blood.

Elizabyth Hiscox
The Pedestal first appeared in Gulf Coast, Volume 18, No. 1.