She thinks to herself, when I am well,
never again will I hit snooze, lay
half asleep for an hour, thinking I'll get up
next time. I will never miss
the bus, never be late for work again.
I will floss my teeth every day.
Fridays I will go out after work with friends
for drinks, sip martinis like a lady.
I'll talk about modern art and they will listen.
When a young man with fine, tapered hands
walks me home, I will only let his hands shake mine.
No longer will I stare down strangers.
When I am well, I will spend my lunch hour in the park
nibbling homemade granola, reading second-hand copies
of Hemingway. Saturdays I'll wander galleries and museums, Sunday
mornings attend church. Sunday night I'll save
for classic movies borrowed from the library.
I will always get my beauty sleep.
When I am well I will never again eat french fries.
I will know the names of the vendors at produce stands
and they will know me.
I will save a quarter of my paychecks, donate
my income tax return to animal shelters. I will never look
for my name on the list of donors, never gloat.
When I am well, I will can my own strawberry preserves,
bake my own twelve-grain bread. I will leave my house every day
before sunrise, run four miles, fly on endorphins.
I will not worry about smile lines.
When I am well, she thinks, I will not think myself clever.
I will speak plainly and never again prick,
with a sharp, strange tongue. I will
subscribe to National Geographic,
and not paste its pictures on my walls.
— Shaina Bazyk
Shaina Bazyk graduated from Carlow University, where she studied with Jan Beatty and Stacey Waite. Other poems can be found in Voices from the Attic Vol. XVI and The Critical Point. She lives in Pittsburgh. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM.