Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Galleywinter #34 - Nick Norwood

The Physical

His hands encased in latex gloves,
a grizzled mustache, the GP perched
on a folding chair in the locker room,
stethoscope dangling by rubber tubes
around his neck, and the whole team
lined up before him, to a boy— 
eight and nine and ten years old—stripped 
to our jocks. Seen from behind: a queue
of pristine cheeks elastic-strapped;
and from before: like turtle hatchlings
swaddled in narrow strips of cloth.
Each waited modestly to have
the cold medallion pressed flush to
his chest—heart a wounded bird—cough
on command while the foreign fingers
pulled down the waistband, lifted, held
him. Waited to hear it said, teammates
at his back, “Okay, young man,” and be
released, back to himself, slightly dazed.

Poet Nick Norwood is a professor of creative writing at Columbus State University and the director of the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians in Columbus, Georgia, and Nyack, New York. His poems have appeared widely in a number of national and international literary journals, online sites, and public broadcasts—The Paris Review, Southwest Review, Western Humanities Review, Southwestern American Literature, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Shenandoah, Southern Poetry Review, Pleiades, Ekphrasis, Poetry Daily, The New Ohio Review, Five Points, The Oxford American, The Greensboro Review, The South Carolina Review, New South, storySouth, Atlanta Review, This Land, the PBS News Hour site Art Beat, U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s syndicated column American Life in Poetry, on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, and many others.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Danny. Happy to see my poem on your blog and among such great company!