One Year Followup

Joan Mazza

Image of Joan Mazza

Joan Mazza

One Year Followup was accepted as part of the MSU Library Short Edition call for work on the theme of “recovery,” in coordination with the MSU Broad Art Museum's exhibit of Beverly Fishman's art, also called Recovery. Joan Mazza worked as a microbiologist, psychotherapist, and taught workshops nationally on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self. Her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Potomac Review, Rattle, Poet Lore, Slant, Prairie Schooner, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia.

In gusting wind, I walk from the parking lot
to the waiting room filled with people on crutches,
in wheelchairs, one missing a foot. I hear
someone say it's been two weeks since her surgery.
A year and two weeks for me.

I've brought handmade cards for everyone
who attends to me today, including the clerks
who check me in, x-ray techs, and nurses.
The surgeon says everything looks good, zooms

the screen to show me the space on the first images
of my crushed tibial plateau. We were very concerned.
The space was two inches and now it's healed,
the hardware where it should be. He apologizes
for screws hurting when he presses.
They had to be long enough to hold,

and hold they have, so that I walk without a cane,
only a little hitch in my step that increases
as I tire. I show him my pedometer, say
I can climb stairs, feed the wood stove.

You don't have to see me again unless
you need to. Don't hesitate to call.
You don't need more therapy. Just walk.

I walk, better after these words, to the next
building looking for Annette, Joe, Ian in rehab
where I spent two weeks. They don't recognize
me standing, not in a wheelchair, my face
not so gray or thin. But when I say my name

and they hear my voice, they hug me. Look at you!
Oh, yes, look at me! They see progress.
I see how far I have to go to be where
I was before the fall and still hope to get closer

to hauling wood inside, hiking in the woods,
maybe a trek across an airport on the way
to Guadeloupe next winter. No ice.
In dreams, I'm dancing.

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