In the Cards – Karla Linn Merrifield

The defining moments in our lives often don’t come with advance warning.
~ Sally Yates, former US Deputy Attorney General

I read the news today,
then consulted the Tarot.
Seeing myself in the Major Arcana’s
High Priestess of unknown secrets
and hidden information, who
dispenses both if I’ll listen:
What happens changes a life.
XIII, the Death card,
turns full frontal.

I spend the better
part of a May day
with my better half
at the ER in Rochester,
EMTs expecting
he’d have to be admitted.
Dehydration. Prognosis:
becoming more problematic.
Dementia deep-sixes appetite
for death by starvation;
swallowing reflex shuts down
and he aspirates food,
gets pneumonia, dies.
I know a secret.
I have information.
This is defining.


Karla Linn Merrifield has 14 books to her credit, including the 2019 full-length book Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North from Cirque Press. She is currently working on a poetry collection, My Body the Guitar, to be published in December 2021 by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series.

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