“They’re benign,” the radiologist says,
pointing to specks on the x ray
that look like dust motes
stopped cold in their dance.
His words take my spine like flame.
I suddenly love
the radiologist, the nurse, my paper gown,
the vapid print on the dressing room wall.
I pull on my radiant clothes.
I step out into the Hanging Gardens, the Taj Mahal,
the Niagara Falls of the parking lot.
(from Satisfied with Havoc. © Autumn House Press, 2004.)
Jo Garot McDougall (1935–) who was born in the Arkansas Delta, has written five books of poetry. Her poems are sparse, and evoke the struggles and tragedies of small-town life.