Thursday, March 15, 2007

The ED Sonnets: Room 6.2

The door’s closed, which could mean that an exam
is underway, or that the patient wants
to sleep. I knock and hear a faint response:
“Come in,” not “go away.” Inside, the man
upon the bed is skeletal, and when
I say that I’m the chaplain, he begins
to weep. “I visit everybody in
the ER; don’t be scared!” He smiles, extends
his hand. “I’m not. I’m dying -- HIV --
and just a little while ago I prayed
for God to show me that he loves me, for
a sign. And then you came. You’re proof that he
still listens. I don’t have to be afraid;
I know I’m not an outcast anymore.”


  1. Thanks, Rachel! In two and a half years of volunteering, this still counts as perhaps my most moving visit . . . it's the one I always go back to when I feel like I'm not doing any good, anyway. Sometimes, all you have to do to make people feel better is to show up.

  2. Awesome Susan! Truly that is God's will in action!


  3. This made me cry.

  4. Shakespear aside, your sonnet is better than any of his. I love it.

  5. Anonymous11:52 PM

    I've enjoyed reading your blog... and this sonnet is a great example of why I come back. What a graceful piece of writing. I'm glad you took the days - or weeks - it took to capture that moment in crystalline clarity. The language seems effortless; it's the experience itself carries all the weight of the poem. Thank you for sharing this one.



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