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Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: The Pain Sweepstakes
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
Anyone can win the Pain Sweepstakes. As Mekeel McBride of Kittery implies in today’s poem, everybody does.
The Pain Sweepstakes by Mekeel McBride
is open to all, regardless of age, opportunity, or interest. Takes no effort to enroll. When you win, you win big and we aren’t just bragging. Imagine your cat, flat as a cartoon in the aftermath of a foreign car; discover your favorite child feeding on the fine caviar of barbiturates; find your spouse in bed with a young student of Russian literature whose pink cheeks shine like the Ukranian dawn. If all else fails we can crack your father’s heart like a walnut left over from last Christmas, then hook him up to the white heaven of intensive care. We care about you. For once, we want you to win. And the really startling part is how easy this all is. Keep your hopes high. We draw your number every time you sigh at the sad shape this world is in.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1995 Mekeel McBride. Reprinted from Wind of the White Dresses, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1995, by permission of Mekeel McBride. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at email@example.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.