Julia Blossoms in Her Back Brace

by Joel Moskowitz

Your body begins developing,
so we drive once again to Nopco,
the brace shop
where they’re built and modified.

During the measuring of your parts,
I read People, about Oprah in middle years
finally accepting her figure,
and wonder how you feel about yours.

Then in the waiting room, we play hangman,
make faces in a mirror,
hear voices behind walls.
                  And machines buzz.
The orthotist, in his workroom,
is drilling holes, gluing pads in place,
trading straps for longer straps,
making cuts to follow your contours.
And the gear, like new, fits.

We bicker about homework,
talk about friends, some of whom can be mean,
then walk from the medical building
to a treat of bagels and cream cheese at the bake shop.
But they have those Italian leaf cookies!–– pink or green.

I remember how blissfully you would hold one!––
as your stroller carried you on the Post Road.
Then you’d be asleep,
with color smeared on your face.

Would you like a leaf cookie now?


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