Headlock Press

Writing That Grabs And Holds


13 Centimeters
Robin DellaRagione
The length of a sharpie.
The diameter of a compact disc.

The size a blood vessel can grow.

One centimeter.
A twinge. Some pressure. Slight pain.

Three centimeters.
The vein shakes.

Five centimeters.
The vein bubbles.

Then: upside-down, strapped to a table, wheeled into an ambulance, emergency lights, URGENT, chassis shaking, URGENT, sirens screaming screaming screaming URGENT URGENT URGENT

Seven centimeters.
The vein hisses.

Nine centimeters.
The vein pops.

“Little hope,” doctors say. Nurses whisper, There’s just no way. Janitors gossip by the closet.

Eleven centimeters.
The vein gurgles.

13 Centimeters.
Chances broken down into fractions.

62 years old.

18 years later.

He’s 80,
and still
watching reruns of
Walker, Texas Ranger.

Michael  commented on June 20, 2017 :
Exactly. You do the math. I don't know how women pass a bowling ball through their legs. Or how the rotten kids forget that fact.

Must admit I'd like him more if it was "Columbo."

It gives "always be closing" a double meaning.
richard peters  commented on June 21, 2017 :
dear michael maybe you did not read carefully enough or wrote about another poem and put it here by mistake or were watching tv when you were writing because this poem is about someones father and thats why it was published on fathers day
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