9-5 Early Fifties

Early Fifties

“It hurts!” I tell mom point below my tummy
at my right side “It hurts!” she made me drink
that pink gunk didn’t help I throw up and bend over
mom drives us to that doctor I hate sticks needles in my butt
a lady wearing a dumb white hat wipes my forehead
“Take him now” doctor needle said dad comes home
he never comes home during the week frowning
lifts me onto mom’s lap Pontiac window open

we zoom to some big building dad carries me inside
not on his shoulders “Room seven” a man says
not the Good Humor man who drives on our street
white room white lights mom keeps wiping tears
with white tissues smiles at me a man wearing
a rubber black snake shoves it on my chest
“It’s cold!” pokes down there “Ouch.”

“This afternoon.”

Mom flicks a tear away soon Good Humor men
pushes me on a shiny cart into a white room
white lights like flashlights everyone wears white masks
a lady paints my lower right side with yellow
stinks like dad’s after shave a man pours smelly stuff
into a mask and holds it over my nose and mouth
“Are you sleepy?” “No.” Are you sleepy?”

I blink and mom and dad look down at me
“Son, they had to cut it out we’ll go home soon.”
Mom hands me Rinny my floppy raccoon
one black-button eye and black paws dad says
“Rinny needs you Peter.” He kisses my cheek
I shut my eyes squeeze Rinny under my arm.