Heimlich

Original Text: 
Jeramy Dodds, Crabwise to the Hounds (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2008): 11.
3A bear-hugger from way back. Trains by wrapping
4around bridge pilings, vending machines, a Douglas fir.
5Avoided at most parties: too clingy, too close a talker.
6Hovers near buffet trays glaring at your chest, hands
7rasping between songs. You poke fun at his tight
8lederhosen, his tin flute, but you've bitten off
9more than you can chew. Through the crowd
10he rushes to you, binds two fists into one under
11your sternum. By his second squeeze, the ghosts
12of mine canaries flood your mouth and stream
13to that part of horizon he's left ajar.

Notes

1] Heimlich: an abdominal-thrust maneuver, the work of Dr. Henry Jay Heimlich (1920-), that expels obstructions from the throat and saves choking victims. Bill Murray in the film Groundhog Day (1993) performs a Heimlich maneuver to rescue the choking mayor of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Back to Line
2] mammogram: a low-intensity x-ray device that locates lumps and potential cancers in a woman's breast by means of painfully compressing and squeezing it to ensure good image quality. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
Form: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © Jeramy Dodds and used by permission of the poet. Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained from him in writing.