When you passed in the hall,

wheezing and cantankerous as ever,

just the day after you held me hostage in the clinic,

two hours of spit-flecked obscenities and demands,

I saw in your dull determined avoidance of my gaze

just how miserable you were, and had been all your life,

and suddenly, for one unavoidable moment,

some sopping, pungent form flopped down between us,

a blanket soaked in unconditional love

obliterating our mutual distaste.




Robbie Gamble is a nurse practitioner working with homeless families and individuals in the greater Boston area. He is presently working on an MFA in poetry at Lesley University. He has been published courtesy of Main Street Rag, Wilderness House Literary Review, Ibbetson Street and Modern Haiku.