October 28, 2020

Poem: How I Saw What the Gentleman Saw

photo illustration by S. King

Light reflecting off the yellow walls of the hospital room

Gives the scene a warm, nostalgic air it doesn't deserve.

On the bed, a boy cries and screams.

His limbs are spindly, his skin pale, his head overlarge,

Like a six-year-old foetus.

A white-capped nurse holds him down as he flails.

Doctors in white coats wait in the background,

Prepared to fix what's broken.

The boy's mother stands in the doorway

In a blue gingham housedress and brown cardigan.

Her hair is set in curls,

Her face in lines of perpetual worry.

She speaks to the gentleman in the hall,

A friend who has stopped by because.

"It happened again," she says

With perfunctory weariness.

The boy wails, the nurse shushes, the mother shrugs.

"But don't worry about us.

"We'll be all right."

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