Monstress – Robert G. Wertzler

At first sight, nothing obvious
Nothing to pin the feeling on
But, still, that cold feeling
Like an ice pack on your spine
Like others, shying away
Something eerie in peripheral vision
Or movements not quite right
Are her arms too long?
Can’t be sure
Why the gloves, always the gloves
Never off in public? Do the fingers
Bend as if no joints, or too many?
Those shoes, the tall stilettos,
Heels never seeming to touch ground
No, couldn’t be – eyes playing tricks
She moves through the crowd with
Ever a space around her, instinct
Keeping all a distance
Who is that? You ask
The whispered answer,
The Monstress
And you wonder
What need
What grief
What pain
What rage
Might, or must, live
Behind that veil she wears

Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

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