Current Events


I wait as in a coma

for Doc’s succinct elegance:
“It’s basal carcinoma.”

The doc already knows
the cancer is a bleeder.

In poking it up close,
he smells like mint and cedar.

He launches to the chin
a Novocain nuclear missile.

Where the needle’s been,
a goatee seems to bristle.

“Okay,” Doc says. “Looks fine.”
—Like nasty on raw chicken.

I say I met a guy online,
a well-read Republican.

On a first date with a dude,
might not a chin so oozy

rightly be construed
as something of a doozie?

The bleeder bled, absurd,
blooming florid as a lotus.

Yet the doctor reassured,
“Your Republican won’t notice.”

Events would soon affirm
partisanship as wonky,

I the silent pachyderm,
my date, the braying donkey.

I saw that it takes two to flirt
and swore by my chinny chin

that even politics advert
to faith in medicine.

About the Author

Rhoda  Janzen

Rhoda Janzen is the author of a poetry collection, Babel’s Stair (Word Press, 2006), and has contributed poems to such journals as Poetry, The Yale Review and The Southern Review. She wrote the NY Times #1 bestseller Mennonite in a Little Black Dress (Henry Holt, 2009), which was a finalist for the 2010 James Thurber Humor Award and the 2012 finalist for the Lily Fellows Arlin G. Meyer Prize for Imaginative Writing. Janzen’s memoir Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? (Grand Central, 2012) was a finalist for the 2013 Books for a Better Life Award. Learn more at www.Rhodajanzen.com. Janzen earned a B.A. in English from Fresno Pacific University; an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Florida,Gainesville; and a PhD in English from UCLA. She teaches at Hope College.

Photo by Shelley LaLonde