If you come into the hospital room before she arrives, you might miss the telltale signs of her existence. They are subtle — a soft sweater thrown over a chair for those drafty hospital wards or an absurdly expensive vegetable tray from the café downstairs on the patient’s table.
Hearts that beat, / Turn into hearts that don’t.
Medicine is a march, but it’s not like Sherman’s to the sea. You don’t burn what you leave, and the sea is always just beyond the next hill.
A few winters ago, you called me after a ski accident and announced / “I have fractured my tibial plate.”
I had felt strange during the week leading up to the last ultrasound. Pregnancy is a roller coaster of sensations, but that week had been off a little. I barely noticed the ultrasound tech rubbing the cold, blue gel on my massive belly. I wanted to hear that sound: that quiet, pulsing sound of my baby racing to be born.
We work in a hospital / Faithfully / Like the tomato plant / Serving a garden community
Draped the head and steadied the bed / For the life-saving aneurysm clipping, / I stop thinking of my former life.
Your Smile / Wrinkles, / Where my jokes weren’t funny.
Filled with fear and pain but love and hate / To raise it alone since he never agreed
We stand beneath tin roofs / with raindrops on our lips / regret behind our eyes.
Deeper than its captivating shape / lies a greater purpose.
So, one way or another / I keep craning my neck / Looking up.