Calendar Cubes. a poem by Joan Mazza

JoanMazza 10April2010

Calendar Cubes

We sat together, two numbers
facing out, changed each day
on that doctor’s desk for years.
Remove us from our slanted seat,
note we were one of many freebies
by a company who manufactures
Norpramin® so doctors might
write more prescriptions.

We, like our siblings, remained
on desks and bookshelves,
listened to distraught patients
of psychiatrists, who begged
for relief and had emotions blunted,
neutered instead. We heard you
when you cried, saw the doctor
take notes, scowl, and roll his eyes

behind your back while you lay
on his leather couch. When he spoke
to you of his other patients, did you
not think he spoke about you
too? When he tired of turning
our numbered cubes, he gave us
to you, remembering you said
you’d stayed awake all night

to figure out what digits had to be
on each of our six faces. Now
we sit above your head, grateful
that you turn us every day, and often
look our way to check the date
without the year. These decades
later, we’re still here. The doctor’s
dead, but we’re still listening.

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Joan Mazza worked as a microbiologist and psychotherapist, and taught workshops on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam). Her poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Adanna Literary Journal, Poet Lore, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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