Three Miracles by Trish Hopkinson on The Penn Review


Trish Hopkinson

1) You can still taste.
You’ve been out of the hospital
for a while, but the vertigo is back.

The ENT says, It might take a few treatments
to shift the crystals of your inner ear, as he positions
you carefully on the table, directs the motion

of your bandaged head, up then down,
side to side. I read somewhere that animals
respond differently when they can’t smell.

Take mice, for example—they lose weight
when odor-deprived. Oddly, it has nothing
to do with smelling food, more with

metabolism. It’s simple to think
the loss of smell is minor—not like sight
or sound. Be mindful, the ENT says. Make sure

to turn off gas appliances; don’t eat expired foods;
always wear deodorant. Dolphins,
on the other hand, can’t smell at all—

they lack olfactory nerves but have more
taste-sensitivity and don’t have to worry
about asphyxiation, b.o., or soured milk.

You ask, Will I ever be able to smell again?
What happens is, when the head gets jolted,
neurosensors used to detect scents

get shaved off. Sometimes
they grow back within six months.
What happens if they don’t?

2) Your short-term memory
will be back to normal within a year.
3) You don’t remember the actual accident.

Trish Hopkinson has always loved words—in fact, her mother tells everyone she was born with a pen in her hand. A Pushcart nominated poet, she is author of three chapbooks and has been published in several anthologies and journals, including Tinderbox, Pretty Owl Poetry, and The Penn Review. She is a product director by profession and resides in Utah with her handsome husband and their two outstanding children. You can follow Hopkinson on her blog where she shares information on how to write, publish, and participate in the greater poetry community at

— Read on

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