Waiting for a Femoral Head Ostectomy: A Painting

 

WAITING FOR A FEMORAL HEAD OSTECTOMY:
A PAINTING

 

After two days hiding under the bed, my cat
emerges, carrying his back leg as if useless, the toes

on the supporting paw spread wide
for balance. He continues like this, eyes wide

and dilated, a growl that returns most evenings
as the pain sets back in. It flowers, like

the spread paws, back down through the leg
until he can do nothing but carry it,

or lie down. Days and nights. I imagine placing him
in front of a series of mirrors, the strange

pirouette-leg, the left-handed toes spread

too far, to balance, to cry out, the sublimation
of the possible fall. I imagine him reaching up

toward the bar, its slickness, nails running loud
against the painted metal, until he grips

and pulls up, weight only on the sturdy leg, tail high
in assurance, flower in the hip, quieter.

 

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About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in South Bend, Indiana, where she works as the Departmental Secretary of English and World Language Studies at Indiana University South Bend, and remains closely affiliated with 42 Miles Press, New Issues Poetry and Prose, and Wolfson Press. She previously received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, where she worked as the Layout and Design Editor for New Issues Poetry and Prose and as an Assistant Editor of Poetry for Third Coast. Her poems have appeared in Encore Magazine, Sleet Magazine, Rogue Agent, Thank You for Swallowing, Whale Road Review, The James Franco Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Analecta; and her book reviews have appeared on her website and on The Rumpus. She lives with her husband, their daughter, and three cats. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com. View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

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