A gibbous moon hangs from the sky. Not a full moon.
Not a crescent moon. Not a new moon. Not a sliver
or a full bloom. Just a bulbous blob of moonglow.
Gibbous. What an odd word. Funny to see, funny
to say. Gibbous. Gibbous moon. Gibbidy, gibbidy,
gibbidy-goop. I stop by the hospital to visit a friend.
He was a good guy until he started hanging out with
a bad crowd. Adopted their bad habits. Developed
a heart condition. Takes medication for it every day.
Now he’s in the hospital with a heart flutter. I’m
not surprised. Those friends of his were bad news
from the start. It was easy to see. But he couldn’t.
He still can’t. They’re still his “buddies.” Bad
company. Walking down the corridor on his floor,
I pass several rooms before I reach his. In one room
a man tells the doctor he sees visions. Ex-girlfriends
and giant animals. Must be the gibbous moon.
In the next room, a man covered in blood screams
like a maniac, trying to pull out his tubes. Three
nurses struggle to subdue him. By the time I reach
my friend’s room, I’m done. Enough is enough.
We need to talk. No matter how much you love
your buddies, they aren’t worth ending up
in a place like this. Now he needs extra heart
medication (doesn’t work). Then shock therapy
to stabilize his heart (does work). We have a nice
visit. I only yell at him for an hour. Then I leave.
Return to my peaceful life with cats. The ones
who fill my days with endless love and joy. Good
company. Happy company. Happy is good. It’s
no wonder I prefer my “buddies” to have fur and
purr, gibbous moon or not.
Laura Stamps is the author of several poetry books, including IN THE GARDEN, CAT DAZE, and TUNING OUT. Her book THE YEAR OF THE CAT won the Muses Prize. She is also the recipient of 7 Pushcart Prize nominations. You can find her every day on Twitter at @LauraStamps16.