A Message for My Husband
by Claire Scott

Give Roxie her heartworm medicine
change the furnace filter every month
never wash colors and whites together
unless you want pink underwear
rake Mrs. Wilsonís leaves each fall
shovel her walkway in the winter
so she doesnít twist her ankle again
change the sheets on Tuesdays
the spare set is on the top shelf in the hall
remember recycling on Fridays
separate paper and plastic
get a flu shot in October
tip the mail carrier at Christmas

When the dark dogs show up (and they will)
slumped and slobbering at the door
and you find yourself sleeping on the lumpy couch
eating nothing but pretzels and Doritos
eyeing the orange vials in the bathroom
or the knives in the drawer, call Dr. Schwartz
watch the red wine, easy to sip when alone
easy to disappear in a fog of forgetting
what happened on the icy freeway, the sirens, the ER
the surgeonís I am so sorry Mr. Stevens
I blow kisses from the beyond
whisper words white on white like wings
backlit with love

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