DEENA OCHOA ANDERSON

The max daily dose
Then eight, ten, twelve more
Two days with an IV
To settle the score

A drive without windows
Life’s all I can see
The one I still have
I near took from me

Shoes with no laces
Hoodie without strings
Here are the daily phone times
We’ll hold onto your things

A bed to myself
A window with bars
I’ve left all my family
With all brand new scars

A room full of faces
More broken than mine
I listen to stories
I don’t pretend to be fine
A visit from mom
And a visit from dad
A hug in the courtyard
Oh I’m so glad

A phone call to sister
Who says ‘I love you’
Not often she says that
So I say it too

I wake at midday
And like an old friend
My appetite is back
What’s the chef recommend?

A burger with bacon
Or curry with rice
Some new type of sandwich
With coffee on ice

Screaming matches and threats
Apologies too
This man needs the Heimlich
What do we do?

Black pen on white paper
Aloe vera in a pot
The sketching is soothing
Though it’s just lines and dots

I make a new friend
Who likes the same things I do
We can speak in a way
That’s completely true

Songs filled with memories
A beautiful moon
A golden retriever
Who’s name tag reads “Boone”

Tattoos and poetry
Stories from jail
Now reach your arms up
And deeply inhale

A visit from doctor
Who says I can go
A quick note to my friend
Who I just got to know
Goodbye my new friends
I hope you do well
So you need not return
To our sweet slice of hell

Waiting at home
Are three sets of paws
Two little, one huge
They don’t see my flaws

The Shepherd jumps on me
The cats ask where I’ve been
I hold them all closely
And scratch under their chins

A voice I’d only heard
From over the phone
Along with my parents
All say, “Deena, welcome home.”

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