Slammed into a room called illness
I am a stranger
Unfamiliar with the sharp
But I am welcome:
Pain, a florid forehead, despair
Fling open the door.
Wheeled past waiting rooms
I glimpse bent shadows
scanning their phones
staring into the void
Into the abyss
Into the forces that swept them here,
Stumbling toward cars and ER doors
Dithering and unashamed
A father's/wife's/brother's body in their arms, pliant as a sleeping child's.
Weeks swallow days
I’m enveloped in bed
numb to the velvet cypress trees coating the windows
Conjuring lovely, lonely music in my head, the violins of Venice,
For in this half-life there is no music
But muffled moans and gagging,
medicines and acronyms
Visitors mouthing Jesus loves me
the clang of approaching gurneys.
cosseted by illness
I can simply be.
Later, I will turn off the night
Tomorrow there may be light.
About Janice Fuhrman
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