From the Hospital Bed

by Michael Meyerhoffer

I’m lying here reading story after story
about Zen masters precisely foretelling

the date and time of their own demise
when I remember my grandfather

who must have told us half
a hundred times that he’d be dead

by the end of the year then went on
living another two decades,

until his speech slowed and he
no longer cursed the length of skirts

on television or blamed his arthritis
on the Japanese, actually stopped

threatening to cut off his own legs
when rain rattled the eaves,

and mostly just wandered around
the house finally unattached

to the bottles of cheap beer
that had for so long sustained him

though he still stopped sometimes
to ask for a dish of ice cream.

MICHAEL MEYERHOFER’s fifth book of poems, Ragged Eden, is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press. He has been the recipient of the James Wright Poetry Award, the Liam Rector First Book Award, the Brick Road Poetry Book Prize, and other honors. He is also the author of a fantasy series and Poetry Editor of Atticus Review.