The Smoothie

Steve Denehan

Autgust 8, 2022


I sat in the examination room amongst scanners and optometry equipment. I had just been told that the fluid behind my left eye was continuing to leak, that it had not responded to treatment, that the damage was irreversible now, and that hope-for-the-best prepare-for-the-worst surgery was required. He read the screen, looked at me, read the screen again, looked at me again.

“It says here that you are forty-five.”

“That’s right.”

“You don’t look forty-five.”

I wasn’t sure how he could know with my face half-covered by the mask. I laughed, told him that he was a smoothie. He held his hands up, shook his head, and told me again that I did not look forty-five. I didn’t know what to say, so I told him the truth: that I was forty-five and felt every bit of it.

Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife, Eimear, and daughter, Robin. He is the author of two chapbooks and three poetry collections. Winner of the Anthony Cronin Poetry Award and twice winner of Irish Times’s New Irish Writing, his numerous publication credits include Poetry Ireland Review and Westerly.