Instructions From Lazarus

Instructions From Lazarus


Having risen from the bed, after the ability
to stand had been re-established, the gait still
adjusting to the shifts of the body’s weight,
I found myself in front of the streaked mirror
in the hospital room. The halo was dull 

in that light, almost brushed in appearance.
How saintly of me to wear a halo?
I wanted a narrator to say: Here, he models
the latest headwear, the finest in German engineering.

But James Earl Jones was apparently unavailable.

The pins buried in my skull looked like
a nautical device of some kind. But there were
no journeys for me to take, just a bed and a room.
My nurse’s name was Zar, short for Lazarus.
Of course his name was Lazarus. It fits with the

theme of this whole thing. Zar said take it easy,
said move slowly and think about each step
as if you are learning to walk. But one doesn’t
think about each step when learning to walk.
We rise, we fumble, we shuffle, we fall. 

The wings, buried (thankfully) were just an itch
between my shoulder blades, a slight tug
on the muscles depending on the way I moved.
Each night I prayed to make it out of the hospital
before the wings made themselves known again.

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