The doctor tells me I have a small heart
yet it is strong, does not skip,
no reverbration when its doors close.
He holds the strip of paper in his palms
while the nurse removes conductors,
each making a small suckling sound
as it pulls away from my skin.
I joke that my heart is big,
too enormous for most situations
which is why I stand in back
or pay extra for carry-on.
He raises his eyebrows
just a little and says Nonsense,
a baby aspirin will help.
I tell him I am certain my heart is frail,
it quakes at scary movies and turns soft
at animals in the road so I have to pull over.
You take this too seriously, he says,
there’s always yoga. I assert
that my heart skips a beat all the time,
I feel it thrash against my ribs,
hammer and thwack and jump,
especially on Mondays
when I contemplate what’s ahead.
His eyes look dull. Decaf, he says.
Finally, I ask him, if there is no echo,
what sound wakes me every night?
I am thinking that the machine
is wrong, the doors of my heart
never close, and that is the problem.
Open all the time. Open for business
24/7, customers coming and going.
With a heart like that, there is
a lot of noise. A million returns
and exchanges. Go have some fun!
he replies as he leaves. Live a little!
Copyright © Lisa C. Krueger
Lisa C. Krueger is a Pasadena native, a clinical psychologist, and is currently working on her MFA in poetry at Bennington Writing Seminars in Vermont, so she has been bi-coastal as of late. She is a member of the National Association of Poetry Therapy, has run a number of writing therapy groups, and has written interactive journals related to psychology and creativity.
“There Is No Echo” has been accepted for publication in the Atlanta Review and is also slated to be included in Lisa’s third book of poetry to be published by Pasadena’s Red Hen Press in 2014.