Meditation on a Morning Dose

Ruby nail and arthritic knuckle
lever the pill sorter’s orange lid

with its block letter M, Monday,
parody of beginnings.

Her plastic labyrinth of promises
and side effects, emptied and refilled
week after week.

Oval tablets with cryptic numbers,
pale discs so thin they vanish
in the soft folds of her palm.

Each with its own doppelganger
of nausea and tremor, all to buy time.
For what?

She doesn’t know
if her body can even hold another pill.

So easy to pour them in the toilet’s
waiting mouth,
to hear the soothing swoosh
swallow them down.

She steadies a glass beneath the faucet,
fills it to the top.
Then drizzles in a little more,
letting water bulge above the rim.

She pauses,
marveling at the glass,
how it bears more than it can.