Bells Palsy
by Ingrid Bruck

To smile is natural until you can’t. It happens fast as a hummingbird. Nerves on one side of the face stop working. Can’t lift the left eye brow. Can’t wink the left eye. You use a finger to open or shut the eyelid. Wear a black patch over that eye to protect it. Can’t drink from a glass. To hold in a straw, you pinch your lips around it. Face and mouth sags, food and drink dribbles. People startle on meeting. You feel like a freak. Understand the Phantom of the Opera wearing a mask, want to join him in the cellar. If you could catch the thief who stole your whistle, you’d spit in his face but can’t. The not bad news is that nerves heal – you recover with gratitude at your good luck.



About the Poet:
Ingrid Bruck grows wildflowers, makes jam and writes short form poetry and haiku. She’s a retired library director living in the Amish country of Pennsylvania in the US, spends time with grandchildren and writes very day. Her first chapbook, Finding Stella Maris, was released by Flutter Press this past winter. Current works appears in Between These Shores Literary and Arts Annual, Halcyon Days, The Song Is… and Nature writing. Poetry website: