Poem 351 ± May 20, 2016

Rodney Jack
Little Sickness Song

I measure the days
in medicine trays oh my

Sunday through Sunday
cloudy or sunny
my pillbox is by my side oh my
my pillbox by my side

And again this morning
the porcelain this morning
cold so white inside oh my
so cold so white inside

Taking the tablets
prescription and habit
five times a day
for all of my days, oh
how many days? oh my, oh my


Rodney JackRodney Jack was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He served in the United States Navy for six years, and on board the USS Missouri during Operation Desert Storm. He received an MFA from Warren Wilson College, where he was a Holden Minority Fellow. He was also the recipient of the Eunice Tietjens Memorial Prize from Poetry, a GE Foundation Resident Artist of Color at Yaddo, a Fellow at MacDowell, a Peter Mayer Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference and a Bread Loaf Scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. His work appeared in AGNI, Blackbird, Open City, Ploughshares, and The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine. In the fall of 2007, he returned to Warren Wilson as the Beebe Teaching Fellow. He took his own life on August 6, 2008.

This poem appeared in Poetry.