The year is the here, the year of my final daughter is coming to finish me. I've been waking up in the dark for weeks now, Gen, grinding my beans before bed. My back gave out on the toilet and they wheeled me out to the ambulance. Christmas morning, 2021, with my mother in the emergency room watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, my left arm flaccid was the word I overheard an EMT use. Every new year I write the date wrong out of habit for the first week or so, but not 2022, not you. Here, by lamplight, I scratch, and let long intervals of silence stretch between scratches, the sighs of cars passing along I-70, their groans, and mine. I bicker with myself in this quiet work for being alive, most viciously alive, and not even remotely motivated to do my hand exercises. My physical therapist had no idea what she was dealing with. But don't worry. I'll take care of you. You'll see. In a little while, you'll see.
Cameron Morse is Senior Reviews editor at Harbor Review and the author of eight collections of poetry. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is The Thing Is (Briar Creek Press, 2021). He holds an MFA from the University of Kansas City—Missouri and lives in Independence, Missouri, with his wife Lili and (soon, three) children. For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.