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  • Jimmy Broccoli

Spotlight: Catherine The Great

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

HI All

It is an honor to feature the work of fellow poet and friend Catherine Zickgraf on the Jimmy page.

About 7 years ago, Catherine came to the library (that I used to manage) in Augusta, GA and read her poems and provided a poetry workshop for those who attended. The neighborhood, where the library is located, doesn't often have the opportunity for poetry, music, and other artistic expression - so it was an extra treat to have Catherine join us for an evening.

Catherine's writing pushes boundaries, often investigates untouched themes and compositions, and always elicits a reaction.

I’m Done Having MRI’s I’m done. I’ve had three in three years— limbs scanned for errors, head checked in slices. Each test returned stamped Results: normal. But the thing is I’m not normal, I’m not.

I was 22, and my new husband drove me to my second scan. I stretched out my legs in the back seat, gulping coconut rum from a sprite bottle. Give strong drink to those who are suffering. At least give something— the doctor prescribed Tylenol and exercise.

Entombment again in one position would be too much, my limbs channeling electric throbs, my brain confusing the message. All of that pain came back as Results: normal.

The next year, still uninsured, Mommom paid cash so they could slide me again into their machine, surge it like an oven, and call me well— with Results: normal typed on my carbon copy.

I became a cane-walker a few months later, then left law school soon after that to go into a wheelchair. Though once I was a stretched-limbed dancer. . . legs strong as trees, planted soles and a planted soul, with port-de-bras fingers sweeping the grass, . . . those parts burn in their tissues now. My head lags on its tired base. I’m afraid to walk, afraid of life, afraid of more tests that say: you’re fine.

- Catherine Zickraff

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