ODE ON A STYROFOAM CUP | Christopher Adamson
What I saw from the hospital window
After they gave me the diagnosis.
A bed of wilted irises
Broken glass glinting on the sidewalk
Pigeons picking at breadcrumbs
A child, with a Dutch cut, in a round window
Graffiti scrawled on the side of a white cube van
A cigarette butt flicked from a passenger window.
To the east:
A brick tenement, boarded up
The Marlboro man on the billboard by the overpass
Smoke wisping skyward from a factory stack
A hooded figure on a fire escape
The clock in the derelict tower
Missing both hands.
Dogs running helter-skelter on a pebble beach
Insatiable roll of whitecaps
A random parade of grey
Marooned in smudged glass
The pie of a face, indistinct
Blur of arms lifting the wastebasket
A skull and crossbones
Purpled on the orderly’s bicep.
Christopher Adamson is a sociologist and a fiction writer. His essay, “Existential and clinical uncertainty in the medical encounter: an idiographic account of an illness trajectory defined by inflammatory bowel disease and avascular necrosis,” was published in the Sociology of Health and Illness (Volume 19, March 1997). He is also the author of a novella, The Road to Jewel Beach (Exile Editions, 2004). His short stories appear in Ontario Review, Exile Literary Quarterly and Hart House Review.