‘Vital Signs’ by Jeffrey Essmann The Society August 20, 2022 Beauty, Humor, Poetry 5 Comments . I. My body heat is at a modicum: Say, ninety-eight point two or one or so. Foreboding naught particularly glum Except a disposition to succumb To fevers only cooler heads can know. . II. Some other hand has wound the clock within Me and its workings rarely reach my ear. Yet sometimes veins as blue as porcelain Insinuate a voice beneath the skin That whispers soft, “still here…still here…still here…” . III. Each time she wraps the cuff about my arm And tightens it till numbers I beget, It strikes me yet again with some alarm That though I’ve caused the world but little harm The hardness of my heart may kill me yet. . IV. I know full well each breath’s a separate thing, Yet somehow sense there’s really only one: It flows through me like something on the wing, It lifts the soul aloft and gently brings Me back to Eden’s green, first breath begun. . . Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Agape Review, America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 5 Responses jd August 20, 2022 A lovely poem to greet the morning, Jeffrey and one that calls for re-reading. Thank you. Reply Tonia Kalouria August 20, 2022 This mundane Life Force you describe becomes, indeed, ethereal. Lovely. Reply Cynthia Erlandson August 20, 2022 A very pleasurable read — just lighthearted enough to bring a smile — and I love the rhyme scheme. Reply Margaret Coats August 22, 2022 A witty charting of each of the usually measured physical signs, showing that the patient’s mind, soul, and spirit seem to be working as well as his body. Reply sally cook August 23, 2022 Jeffrey, Your graceful verse is delightful. Thank you Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.