Dear Mr. President, I Thought You Should Know

It’s February and the wind’s so bitter
my toddler, in the front pack, slides his hands
under my armpits and buries his face in my scarf.
I’m sorry to report that some people are still nasty
on the number 1 subway and my son’s teacher
has acute leukemia. I don’t expect you to change
everything or for everything to change. But every day
it does. My older boys, with their heavy school bags,
struggle to remain standing as we jolt along
these old, old tracks. Someone offers me a seat
but I can’t reach it. Someone else won’t let me past.
Later, I’ll nurse the baby, write some poems, and wait
to hear if the swab I twirled inside my cheek predicts
my bone marrow might save anyone. Until then, I’m held
upright by the press of your citizens, the city’s embrace.
© Rachel Zucker
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