Patricia Wallace Jones


I can only say how they begin and end--
an arresting cry then a startled look
as vocal chords contract seconds before
his hand flies skyward and legs give way.

Shorty, part Aussie herder, beats me to him;
attacks his pant leg, the perceived intruder
until, freeing a hand, I can shoo her away.
Lumpy, sweet feline familiar, hangs in,
rides them out near his feet alternating
between wide-eyed and yawning.

Within a minute he blues about the mouth,
shakes violently and goes rigid; then comes
the grinding, blood and saliva, the soiling and it's over.
He will remember nothing;
may or may not ask why his jeans are wet,
his left eye bruised and tongue is sore.

Gloves are advised but I never use them
convinced that touch is curative.

* * *

Reducing Your Anti-Psychotics

I see your sweet smile
for the first time in twelve years,
hear you laugh at a quip
you'd have missed last week,
all the while, hoping
you won't hurt us tomorrow.

Patricia Wallace Jones is a retired disability rights advocate who worked all her adult life for rights she fears we are losing daily. Daughter of a mother with a physical disability and mother of a son who lived a full and included life with intractable seizures, cognitive and psychiatric disabilities, she began writing poetry after retiring.