A friend I first met in college lived not away, and two years ago we finally got together when a third friend came from out of town. We hadn’t seen each other in more than 40 years, and it was as if college had just happened yesterday. We looked older and more life-marked, but the same personalities sat around a table, eating flatbread and drinking wine. Some months before, my in-town friend had had a heart transplant. He described what it was like not to have a pulse, something you don’t think about unless there isn’t one.
A year later, we had scheduled another lunch, with another out-of-town college friend, when I opened the newspaper a few weeks before and saw his obituary. He had had a stroke, a not uncommon complication, even well after the operation. The transplant had given him almost two more years.
Marjorie Maddox’s father had far less time than that after his heart transplant. The transplant went well; the unexpected blood infection was fatal. Maddox tells the story in a series of poems in Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.