Bitter Pill

I swallowed a bitter pill
the other day. I swallowed it
dry, a lump forming
in my throat. Yet,
I paid no mind.

It melted a little in my mouth,
on the way down,
leaving a sweet, cloying aftertaste.
My tongue begged for water. Yet,
I paid no mind.

It scraped down my throat,
upsetting the lump.
And I could feel
traitor tears behind my eyes. Yet,
I paid no mind.

I felt the acerbic
panic the minute it
hit my stomach. I felt
my nerves jangle in the biting
fright. Yet,
I paid no mind

As the pill lay bubbling
in my stomach,
I heard a cry down the hall.
For water, of fright or tears
I do not know. And I thought,
‘Fool. The only way is to accept
your medicine. Long before
you swallow it.’

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