Wanda Clevenger

sonic boom

the calves sold
first thing
the 81 head
ground down
to 18 not much
later, saving
back the two bulls
& the
sentimental mothers

the loss was
a sonic boom
shake rattle &
roll on big wheels
roll me over
in the clover

when you’re back
on your feet
we’ll truck through
the pasture
like the old days
& watch the
bulls sniff & snort
& climb &
bring it all back
like nothing even
ever happened


when awake finally
in ICU my leg hair
had grown unabated
for 9 days
––an unsettling umbrage
not seen
since junior-high

all evidence pointed to
felony attempt: blackened
arms & abdomen
ankles bursting their seams
like they’d pound ground
& stuffed me into
cow intestine to cure
over time

& awake finally
life support rigging
was dismantled
& I could
eventually shamble
to the shower room

there wasn’t a rail
or a chair &
my body felt alien,
the water beating
off the Saran wrapped
IV disorienting

so I did what I did
in junior-high
swiped the Lady Gillette


one of the
scrubs menagerie
preformed above
and beyond
the nightingale

in a dark room
of darker thoughts
she sympathized my
other pain, pushed
Benadryl into
my IV toddy

for what it’s worth,
she said, and you
probably won’t remember
in the morning, you
don’t have to tell
anyone what happened
to you

it’s nobody’s business,
she added, in conspiratorial


along the hospital corridors
posters encouraged prevention

please and
thank you

a hundred
I’m sorry


branded NPO
for months
then fertilized
liquids only
like a geranium
on its last dry leg

they sucked it
out of me –
the desire
to taste chew

do or die
they said
sucking the life
out of me

Displaying headshot window.jpgWanda Morrow Clevenger is a Carlinville, Illinois, native seeking residence in Kansas.  She has published over 300 pieces of work in 121 print and electronic publications. Her debut book This Same Small Town in Each of Us released in 2011 (Edgar & Lenore’s Publishing House).  A full-length poetry manuscript is currently seeking press representation.


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