Pikes Peak State College Faculty and Staff Creative Writers' Group
Diabetes by Amie Sharp
By Amie Sharp
My mother pricks her finger. Dinner’s almost
ready—halftime, our team losing again,
and now her rosemary potatoes will be our solace.
For the fourth time today, she tests her blood.
My mother loves football and Westerns,
James Garner as Maverick. Years after a virus
ambushed her pancreas, she wears
an insulin pump, and while it works
she’s a classic movie savant. Give her any
character actor, Sydney Greenstreet, say—
she can list his roles. But then her sugar drops,
her eyes haze, she casts her mind
around for what she needs . . . orange juice . . .
some jelly beans. She’s told me of a man
from my Tennessee hometown, who left
the hospital after his amputation to hobble
through the front door of Patsy’s Restaurant.
A helpless waitress brought him apple pie
and watched as he ate the whole thing,
gambling his very blood on its sweetness.
Just sick of it, my mother guessed.
Now she squeezes a glossy disc
onto a strip, deciphers numbers.
She doesn’t mention the ocean
of these red droplets she’s measured.
Because we need her, she knows
what she has to do
again and again and again and again.