Frostbite

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Claude Monet via Wikimedia Commons

Jamie got drunk on a cold night, slept outside,
and didn’t protect his feet.
He limps into the shelter, leaning
on chairs for support, sleeps on a bench, says
the doctors say his feet can’t be saved.

We think toes at first, but in the delay,
they say, the feet, no, the lower part
of the legs will have to go. One morning,

Jamie calls and asks if George has
come in for lunch. “Where
are you?” I ask. “I’m at The Broker. Medicaid
is paying for a respite hotel
for me.” Asks,

“Has George come in? Is George
there? If you see him, tell him
to call me. Tell George
he can stay in the hotel room
with me. He doesn’t need to
sleep outside in the cold tonight.”

Elizabeth Robinson has published several collections of poetry and has taught at the Boulder Writers’ Studio, Naropa, CU Boulder and the Lighthouse in Denver. She is also a homeless navigator for Boulder Municipal Court.