You Never Know

Because the doctor moves the stethoscope across your chest
and she cocks her head and listens, smiles, you never know, really
what she hears thumping from your heart,

because your brother
has to have an emergency triple bypass, (heart disease is
your inheritance) so Dracula has taken your blood for more tests,

and your EKG is negative, you never know
what’s really going on in your heart, and you break out into a
clammy sweat and lie on your side with your left arm raised

to the back of your head while the screen shows the inside of your
heart pumping, valves opening and closing, blood gushing, still, you
never know, (and that morning you told your wife if you have a

heart attack among the tomato plants to let you die there)
you never know, and the doctor arrives and they make you walk
up a little grade, then almost run on the treadmill until

you are stressed, panting and the doctor orders you to “stop” and
they tell you to quickly lie down again and they all stare at the
machine’s numbers and pictures until you catch

your breath and wait and wait until the doctor says,
“no coronary heart disease for you.” But you never know, even when
the nurse yanks off (ouch) the nine patches stuck on your chest, you

never know, when the heart will . . . because you know we’re
born with heart disease and we spend the rest of our lives healing it.

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About Ciletti

Jim Ciletti, an award winning poet, filmmaker, and author, is the 2010-2012, Poet Laureate of the Pikes Peak region, and for 41 years, poet-in-residence for the Orme School Fine Arts Festival. Jim gives many workshops on the writing and performance of poetry, and makes poetry house calls to create personal poetry events. Ciletti loves everything Italian, including cooking for family and friends, and loves to plant garlic, make homemade wine, and eating peaches and plums. "Everyday is Christmas, but you don't always get everything you ask for. Sometimes more. Poetry celebrates life."
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