First, the cost of blood work and biopsies to analyze the contents and properties of your state of ill- or well-being. The cost of prescription drugs to regulate your bodily functions after your deductible or Medicare allowable discount or amount. The cost of physical therapy to improve the limited motion of your muscles, joints, and limbs that succumb to numbing pain. The cost of X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs to determine the sources and extents of your conditions for a clearer diagnosis and prognosis. The cost of open-and-shut surgery to remove what’s not needed, what part can be replaced, what went terribly wrong for so long. The cost of DME (durable medical equipment), the cane, the walker, the wheelchair where you finally commit to sit, tallying up the hospital bills, the specialists’ invoices, plan premiums and scheduled payment fees, swallowing all those pills— asking how can you now afford it.
In 2016, I moved out to Port Townsend, WA, after retiring as curator of
historic maps at Princeton University Library. I’ve traveled widely, preferring
remote, natural settings, and am addicted to kayaking and hiking. In 2017,
I published Waypoints (Pleasure Boat Studio, Seattle), a collection of place
poems. Twenty Questions, a chapbook, appeared in 2019 from Finishing Line