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Chicago to Minnesota, a poem by Donald Nelson

Chicago to Minnesota
by Donald Nelson

On the elevated Quincy platform
I caught the Orange Line to Midway,
my flight delayed
and alone at the food court
I had hours watching other travelers
while reading and emailing.
There's no comforting eye contact here today
probably the look on my face,
haggard from the Lupron
that's castrating my testosterone.
If I'm lucky, I'll survive cancer like a friend
who's been through it before me,
he tells me it's not the same
but he can still make love.

In Minnesota, behind thick concrete walls,
the high energy hydrogen protons
spin around magnets in the synchrotron.
After six months of hormone suppression
and eight weeks of the high energy particles
aimed at my shrunken prostate
at nearly the speed of light,
I lie to myself, wishing someday,
that I could be whole again
or still make that profound human connection,
the male and female magic, that gave us all
our chance to be here together.

From Donald Nelson: “I'm poet in residence in my basement office. Transitioning from a life in visual art to writing about ideas and experiences distilled in words and phrases that interest me.”