Pat Jones

The Letter

by John Milbury-Steen

In Gilead there does exist a balm
that keeps me a functional and normal human,
but now, effective next month, those who rule
Gilead, on official stationery
qualming out their deep regret, inform me,
it will no longer be on their formulary.

Oh that’s nice. I’m being jerked around.
My first response was I would go and find
that son of a bitch pill counter, hunt him down,
break into his office like James Bond,
and — pardon me, not meaning to offend —
stick that letter up his latter end.

My second response, the first one being flawed,
was, rather, to employ a cattle prod.

John Milbury-Steen has had work published in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Contemporary Sonnet, Dark Horse, The Deronda Review, Shenandoah and many other little magazines. In his former lives, he served in the Peace Corps in Liberia and worked as an artificial intelligence programmer. He now teaches English as a Second Language at Temple University, Philadelphia.