Jan Ball – 2 poems

Cherry juice

Cherry juice squirts
on my index fingernail
at breakfast.

It looks
like tiny drops of blood.

How quickly
       a party
               can turn wild:
words spew from
vodka lips; a finger
penetrates a shoulder
like a knife, eyes pierce
into other eyes savagely.

An ancient branch
shatters the veranda
roof during a storm,
and twigs slash
the porch screens
while thunder booms
like a violent disagreement.

He finds someone else
at a conference in LA
and my hands are bloody.

Down the Drain

Hibiclens recommended
for pre-op cleansing
five days before
my hip replacement,
two times already we wet
my skin in the shower,
turn off the shower head
then rub in the red cleanser
all over except for tender face
and privates
and wait for three minutes
like warming bread rolls
in the microwave
to destroy bacteria
that potentially can cause
disease then wet again
to rinse the soap off.

This morning’s peculiar
soap fragrance wafts
off my neck and arms
up to my nares,
a medical synonym used
by the pharmacy for nostrils.
Will the neighborhood dogs
still want to sniff me
with their friendly curiosity
when my usual pheromones
wash down the drain? 

Jan has had 328 poems published in international journals as well as in the U.S. for example: The American Journal of Poetry, Atlanta Review, Calyx,
Nimrod and Phoebe. Her three chapbooks and one full length poetry collection, I Wanted to Dance With My Father, have been published by Finishing Line Press and are available on Amazon. Orbis, England, nominated her for the Pushcart in 2020.

Jan was a nun for seven years then lived in Australia for fourteen years with her Aussie husband and two children. She completed a dissertation at The University of Rochester: Age and Natural Order in Second Language Acquisition then taught ESL at RIT, Loyola and DePaul Universities, back in Chicago.

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