poem by   
keith  o'connor
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It twas mid winter 1968 and I had been sick for days...this poem explores the individual's body mind struggle within a social dependency context. Names  and place names are composed to communicate poetic knowledge and are not meant to imply actuality.

I raised my head from  
the small puddle of black bile  
pooling on the floor  

I had been sick for days  
and awoke  
laying on the floor  
of a small back room  
on the second floor of a  
boarding house on  
O'Connor St., in Ottawa  

O'Connor living on  
O'Connor street  
in a house stamped  
with the devil's number  
didn't strike me  
humorous any more  

I could feel the cold  
flowing down from the small  
window and across the floor  
to where I lay  
looking up I could see the  
snow piled up against the  
window frame.  

wiping my face I  
began to clean up the mess  

I could hear the voices of my  
land lord and land lady  
 coming from downstairs  

"He's been sick up there for days"  
"What if he dies"  
"There will be questions"  
"The police will come in"  
"Tell him to go"  
"Tell him to go"  

mid winter in Ottawa  
twenty degrees  
below zero Fahrenheit  
no where to go  

determined to appear  
less sick than I was  
I mustered my remaining  
strength  -  pulled myself  
up to a standing position  
walked down stairs  
with a smile on my face  

"your feeling better"  
my land lord said  

"yes much better"  
I  replied  

"Do you want a cup of tea"  
"yes I'd like that"  

I had succeeded  

my impending death  
appeared to have  
 vanished from their thoughts  

"That tea was good"  
"think I'll rest a bit more"  
"thanks for the tea"  
"very kind of you"  

back in my small room  
 I deliberately avoided  
 the desire to fall onto my bed  
I could hear their voices  

"he seems better"  
"I think he'll be ok now"  
"we have to be careful"  
"about who we rent to"  

  keith o'connor 
1968 ottawa canada 

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