Friday, January 19, 2007

The ED Sonnets: Cookie Break

After that last set, I thought something a little lighter would be in order! In actual practice, I usually don't take a food break until I've done at least one sweep of the entire department. The sonnet cycle will be unrealistic in that I'm only writing about one patient per bed, whereas in many cases I talk to several, after earlier patients go home or are admitted.

The hospital canteen -- a small coffeeshop type place, since the cafeteria's often closed when I'm there -- has the world's best chocolate-chip cookies.


I need a snack. I head to the canteen,
but glance at beds along the way. Room 2
is empty -- he must be in ICU --
and in 1.2, the baby’s gone, bed clean.
I guess the spinal tap was negative;
that calls for treats. My four-buck coupon buys
one fresh-baked cookie, water (smallish size),
and a banana. Here’s a relative,
one of the 4.3 clan; we smile and nod.
I sit and munch, and think how every shift
the patients give me far more than they get.
Those tales in 5 were bulletins from God:
surprising, ghost-assuaging grace, the gift
of postcards from a place I don’t know yet.

1 comment:

  1. This one reads almost like prose. I had to focus myself to hear the rhythm. Wow, you keep teaching me new things about poetry! Thanks!

    I think I'll bake the rest of my freezer cookie dough cookies this weekend. Yum!

    Wondering if someday I can afford to travel to NV and take a course you teach.


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