The Orange Room Review

Accessible poetry of substance

Maintenance and death

by Harry Calhoun

Itís on my calendar: my dogís heartworm medicine
is due on August 10th.  The same date
that would have been my parentsí 59th
wedding anniversary. The same date of my first
day of physical therapy for my old hip.
It seems like it boils down to maintenance
and death, when you get so far along.
Where was I when life surged around me
like spring visiting the eternal spruce?
I was somewhere on my calendar,
the one whose pages have turned
while I was looking the other way.
And tomorrow I feed my dog his medicine
and nurse myself and honor what is sadly
in the ground. Tomorrow morning
I will sit on the deck
and ponder the perennial
plants growing in the backlot.
Salute them as they answer
to their own secret calendar.

HARRY CALHOUN is a poet, article and essay writer. This year, he has work out in The Black Dog and the Road and his chapbook, Something Real. Heís had recent publications in Chiron Review, The Orange Room Review (of course!), The Centrifugal Eye, Monongahela Review and many others. He is the editor of Pig in a Poke magazine. Find out more at His new chapbook, Near daybreak, with a nod to Frost, is now available.