Joan McNerney, 11/4/2019

Current Occupation: Volunteer Museum Guide
Former Occupation: Typesetter
Contact Information: I am from Brooklyn, New York and fell in love with poetry when I was nine years old.  My first publication was in Young America Sings at fourteen. It has been a long and wonderful journey. After retiring from the advertising business, I have moved to upstate New York near the Albany area.  The natural beauty of the area has given me a great deal of inspiration to continue my voyage through the world of literature.
Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on Amazon and she has four Best of the Net nominations.



Hospital Switchboard Operator
After thirty years of service,
Francine knows she hears the
heart beat of this hospital. 
Voicemail, call waiting, cell phones
were just gadgets, she speaks for
clinics, ICU's and admissions.
Francine is the one who connects
post surgery status reports to loved ones.
She can sense the tension in their speech.
The weary sick call for visits to clinics. 
Others anxiously requested test results
sent to their homes. 
Doctors park in designated spaces.
Walking briskly in a flurry of white jackets,
they converse in their own language.
Francine knew how to listen.
Long Haul Driver
At first he was thrilled by the road 
thinking it an adventure to roam
through cities and states. 
His truck a massive 18 wheeler
winding through snake-like
overpasses, gleaming in sunlight
across ten lane highways.
But then he had to drive
so many hours  arriving
only to wait for the next
work order, inhaling fumes
in the cold and in the heat.
Coffee was not enough
now he needed No Doze… 
easy to pick up at gas stops. 
But how to deal with the pain
in his legs, arms and neck?
Later he felt a slave to the
choking engine and ugly
concrete.  The same signs
everywhere, big box stores,
eating holes and truck stops
with cheap souvenirs.
Finally he felt left behind.
Weary of this relentless surge
of everything always going
forward and that demanding clock.
He thought of himself as a
modern alchemist.   Fluent
in this arcane language.
Knowing the composition within
so many minute capsules.
The rest of the store could
be in a gas station or bargain
store.  Filled with candies,
lip sticks, other frivolous items.
If you simply had a cough, syrup
could be found on aisle three.
His area was sacred to patients, 
those with serious ailments.
Filling prescriptions navigating
insurance companies, seeking
authorizations. Always aware of
side effects, multiple drug reactions,
possible allergic problems.
Austere yet approachable,
dispensing heroic potions
from his prized domain
as chemical high cleric.


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