Now a Good Morning
is when I look in the mirror and don't have to use my plastic tweezers to pull gunk out of the stoma, or when I haven't misplaced the screwdriver to twist off the tab on a can of Compleat Modified, so I won't starve to death. When my incontinence pad is dry and I open the door to find the Oregonian on the mat, it is a good morning. On a good morning I roll my chair away from the desk, don't think about cancer taking my voice, (no one has to talk out loud when they are alone anyway), and all my medications are still in alphabetical order: Accupril, the triangular salmon-colored one and [End Page 73] Atenolol, the beta-blocker are for high blood pressure. The square-shaped Capoten prevents heart attacks. Taking Detrol pills stamped D.T., I don't run as often to the bathroom. Lopressor, the pink capsule is also for the high blood pressure. Like Capoten, the Nitro patch helps my heart. Purple Synthroid keeps me cancer free. Dr. Tagen says Wellbutrin—the shape and color of a harvest moon—keeps my energy up. Its a good morning when my arm doesn't ache as I hold my feeding tube and funnel up high like the Statue of Liberty, to push the slowpoke coffee-colored liquid and my ground-up pills into my stomach. On a good morning the poorly translated closed-captions on my T.V. screen almost make sense and I'm able to work the damn Mailstation to read one e-mail from my daughter who says, Ma, you have to learn how to use it, it's your voice now.
Willa Schneberg received the 2002 Oregon Book Award In Poetry for In The Margins of The World, Plain View Press. Her next collection of poetry "Storytelling in Cambodia" is forthcoming from Calyx Books, Spring '06. She judged the 15th Annual Reuben Rose Poetry Competition sponsored by Voices Israel, and, went to Israel in December 2004, to participate in the Awards Ceremony. She is the originator and coordinator of the Oregon Jewish Writers Series at the Oregon Jewish Museum, Portland, where her clay sculpture of Judaica has been exhibited. She is a congregant of P'nai Or in Portland and a member of Brit Tzedek V'Shalom.