Doug Manuel


Dr. Overfield

He gently greets you in the waiting room

to observe how you sit and how you stand.

He takes your history,

tests your reflexes,

watches as you walk

down the hall and back.

He dictates his diagnosis,

“right-hemi Parkinson’s”,

while you sit and listen.

He is blunt in a kindly way,

as if tearing off a band-aid in one smooth yank.

He gives you drugs

and leaves you in the hallway with the office help

to schedule further tests and appointments the

wheres and whens of a newly shattered life.

“What day is good for you?” she asks.

And all you can think

in all your loneliness is

not this one,

as the next patient walks slowly

down the hall and is told,

“now turn and walk back”.



Maybe the drugs had started to work.

The doctor had said,

“Lack of emotional expression.”

So stopped at a red light,

I began exercising my eyebrows

in the rear view mirror.

Focusing on the weak right side,

trying to keep up with the left,

hoping for improvement.

Suddenly seeing the woman

in the car behind me.

Suddenly embarrassed by my “hey baby” eye brows.

But she did not see me.

She was looking in her own mirror,

putting on make-up,

waiting for the light to change.


Keeping Score

In memory of Al Weaver


Does it matter what the game is?

That we lose more than win?

A plastic ball

with holes in it.


A shot alludes us.

We turn and run.

We trip and fall.


The more we lose,

the more we try

to hit the perfect shot.


Knowing that it is the play

that matters,

not the score,

not the game.


We will try again,

next time and the next,

until there is no next time.



One thought on “THREE POEMS

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