Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the
hormonally-challenged?)English teacher living in
Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct,
that the small becomes large; and, like the
Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the
instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,
” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather be
still tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VA, ER, Saturday PM
He takes a seat in the waiting area after
checking in to the ER waiting for Triage.
backpack, shopping bag, dingy ball cap,
and creases gripped by ages of grease.
His eyes roll back with an exhaled
breath of cigarettes, wine and time.
It’s a great way to evade the winds of
November while waiting his turn.
“Hurry up and wait,” unofficial mantra
of the Army worries him not at all.
He’s hurried here to the VA hospital
from the bus stop, waiting for detox.
He purges his body periodically, but
his soul is still hooked on nightmares.
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