“Put me on an ice flow and send it out,” says my father.
I tell him it’s not funny, this isn’t the tenth century.
After two days he leaves the hospital like it never happened.
Lucky, the doctor said, a small clot, no damage.
Second generation, eastern Europe, my long femur,
short waist, and straight shoulders mirror my father.
I’m in line to inherit arrhythmia –
a glitch that flubs the heart’s chamber
with a sloppy sputter when it wants a solid snap shut.
Live long enough and you get to watch
each vital function fail, recalling pretty memories,
what you knew of yourself.
When the time comes I’ll suspend the moment,
the hush of a single craft putting out to sea.
Kate Irving is a member of Pen Women writers. Her poems have previously appeared in BigCityLit.com, in qaartsiluni, Press 1, the Alternative New Year’s Day Spoken Word Performance Anthology, and a chapbook, Raising the Arsonist’s Daughter from the Dead.