By Tracy Klein
Meeting the Osteopath
You needn’t believe to be transformed. You will feel nothing, or something.
It might be like water, or wind. It could be flat as a prairie with tiny flowers ruffling.
It might elect to greet you, as a song.
You will lay down on a clean sheet or dry paper. It is OK to wear socks.
My hand will move over an unseen source.
Driving down a lengthy road with many stops.
You might need water. Your chest will expand.
You may stand taller.
You may feel your contents shifting down, settling, or waking up.
There are intimacies that science fails to explain.
A glance, a sign, a familiar room.
Like weather they often rise up to us. We are ready.
There was a watch involved, a tiny cougar mascot with the school colors
Chasing the time I had left to be somebody important.
Never a joiner, I’d ruined my high school graduation, my Bluebird fly-up, my wedding.
Each involved refusing to wear something. That something meant something to someone—
But not to me.
I am informed that in addition to the watch, there is a tiara.
This is meant to signify royalty for the unroyal, specialness, or diminutive dress up.
Sometimes drunken brides-to-be wear them, or fiftieth birthday goers, along with black dresses.
The problem was, I was stone cold sober, and surrounded
By people happy to wear the tiara, but saving it for me, for getting tenure.
They displayed it, just at the corner of my eye.
Dessert for after the ceremony.
I remembered the time I helped entertain the new Dean all night while we got an award.
The old Dean was not professor material.
He talked about his gastric bypass and how he couldn’t quit eating.
He tried to buy a fountain with school funds.
The new Dean was reedy thin, dressed in blue green with bows like a shimmering piece of candy. Around her neck the faculty had draped a lei with delicate white flowers.
I could imagine her detaching the flowers and using them to staunch a bleeding wound,
Or float in a pretty bowl at dinner with the Foundation.
Now it’s my turn to come up to the stage, to be worthwhile.
To wear the watch and the tiara,
To loop the lei around my practical sweater.
Associate, as a word, means connecting something with something else in one’s mind.
I associate this time with wearing the heaviness of those before me.
I associate myself with you.
July 19, 2022
This was your universal greeting. You would call it as you came through any door. Maybe it was a way to not come upon something embarrassing or surprising. Like your father dying
in your kitchen, after turning on the gas.
You also liked to take pictures. Mountains and mountains of pictures stored in yellow
plastic packets. You were not very good at taking pictures, but you cherished them. You saved each partial head and blurry roast. You gave them a good yoo-hoo.
In a way I admire how you always announced yourself. How you taught me to properly address the couple across the street as Dr. and Dr. Because no one ever locked their doors,
a yoo-hoo was welcomed in the neighborhood. People were gracious with their time.
You went out without any announcement at all, while I was traveling. You’d bought me a ridiculous bikini for the occasion. In Les Cheneaux, the old phone on the wall rang. Yoo-hoo
I said across the lake. Here I am.
July 20, 2022