Mike Bonikowsky lives in Melancthon Township, Ontario with his wife and two kids. He studied English at Tyndale University College and has worked supporting people with developmental disabilities for the last ten years. He is the founder of Community Living Dufferin’s “Lives” program, which seeks to help people with developmental disabilities tell their stories in their own words.
Back in January we featured a post by Mike on “The Unhidden Word.” Today’s post features the poem “Medication Administration” in which Mike explores the uneasy pseudo-religiosity of medical practices. This poem can be found in Mike’s recent book, Cormorant Lord and Other Poems From Under the Hebrew Sea. You can pick up the ebook or order a hard copy (new!) and follow Mike’s poetry at underthehebrewsea.com.
Every morning, every night
He folds his hands and holds them up
I spill out the blister packs
Scarlet pills in scarred white cup.
I have seen that shape before
And now I find it troubles me.
Those hands held in just that way.
But I can’t place the memory.
Capsules gather in his hands
Each decoction in its turn
With names like Latin liturgies
That neither of us care to learn.
They’re meant to still his demons
Quiet the trembling in his limbs
Meant to make is visions cease
And meant to win some rest for him.
Only later on that night
When all is quiet on the floor
I remember where I’ve seen
Those hands make that shape before.
On Sunday at the alter
Patrick kneels with his hands held up
To eat, drink in that same way
Body and blood from that same cup,
He takes one like the other
Would that we all were so devout
Swallowing a mystery
For to cast a mystery out.