ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


A poem from "Admitting (1971-2011)" by Terry Savoie

Our recently fledged psychiatrist pulls up

short before daring to enter the Admission Ward,
her back turned & rigid against the brick wall, arms

akimbo, while her # 1, the one-armed orderly, non-
chalantly shuffles down to the ward's far end to

restore some sense of order to the confusion gathered
down there – our windfall of weekend admits – old

familiars acting out, ones who’ve gone off their
meds, plus a smattering of garden-variety vagrants

off to the side who are holding out for a warm bed
on this day that's forecasted to be the coldest cold

snap yet of this season. Her main man calmly
descends on them with a cold vengeance, flaying

away with that god-awful, bulging bicep of his
good, left forearm – the other lost somewhere

back in Korea in the winter of '51.  As always,
he's aching to get back into the swing of things on

Monday morning first thing & execute the dirty
work we'd never admit to today in this, our en-

lightened age as we pass the lineup stretching
down Dubuque Street outside the city's homeless

shelter for men.  Hugging the curb, we are
barely able to avoid looking them in the eye;

we’re admitting nothing, my friend, nothing whatsoever.

Iowa City, Iowa (2010)

More than four hundred of Terry Savoie’s poems have been published both here and abroad over the past four decades. These include ones in APR, Ploughshares, ACM, The Sonora Review, North American Review, Commonweal, American Journal of Poetry and The Iowa Review as well as recent or forthcoming issues of One, Masque & Spectacle, Cortland Review, America, Chiron Review, and Tar River Poetry among several others. A small selection, Reading Sunday, won the Bright Hill Chapbook Competition and was published in the spring of 2018.

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