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John Perrault

Open Heart

In memory of Dr. Lawrence Cohn


At last, a man after my own heart.

Doesn’t crack a smile.  Doesn’t minimize

the gravity of the situation.

But his tie’s slack, his voice quick as a finch

on the feeder.  He’s filling me in on

the possibility of checking out

in the not too distant future.  Getting

my attention.  Time to take a nice deep breath.


Time to plug the valve and clear the block.

I say, “Doc, I’m in your hands.  Just don’t drop me.”

Still no smile.  Presses his scope to my chest,

nods his head, shoves his stool back, scratches a date

for the fix.  Says: “You play golf?”  Not really.

“Great game.  You’ll love it.”  Man after my own heart.



John Perrault is author of Jefferson’s Dream (Hobblebush Books), Here Comes the Old Man Now (Oyster River Press), Ballad of Louis Wagner (Peter Randall Publisher), and, most recently, a chapbook, Season of Shagginess, from Finishing Line Press. A Pushcart nominee, he has published in Blue Unicorn, Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Comstock Review, Hole in the Head Review, Poet Lore and elsewhere. He has also recorded nine albums of original songs and ballads. He is a past Portsmouth, NH poet laureate.


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