Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The ED Sonnets: Room 9

He’s handcuffed to a gurney, with two guards
outside: corrections officers. I ask
if I can talk to him. They gesture towards
the bed and shrug. “Proceed at your own risk.”
But they’re more bored than wary: it’s a dare
to spook the female chaplain (CYA
pertains as well, no doubt). I feel their stares
inside the room. Their charge sends me away,
politely. Inmates almost always do:
the lack of privacy, I think. Outside,
the med staff gossips. “What’s he in for? What’s
his sentence? Is he faking?” But a few
are somber. “Look, it’s stomach cancer. Hide
the smirks, okay? He’ll die. No faking that.”


  1. Wow, through stories from the ex, I know that prison sucks, even if you only work there. Guess that wasn't the death sentence the poor man expected. Is life playing a pun on cruel and unusual punishment for prisoners who are lifetime jail residents and get that kind of thing?


  2. Lee -- I have no idea what crime he'd committed, so I don't know if he was looking at a death sentence or not. And as a chaplain, I try really hard to steer patients away from the idea that God's punishing them with illness. That's not my image of God, and it's not an image that helps patients. I'm much more comfortable with belief in a God who suffers with us and is with us in our pain. If patients and families are Christian, I try always to remind them that our faith in Easter doesn't remove our need to grieve on Good Friday.

  3. Hi Susuan!

    The carnival is up at Knocking From Inside! Come check it out.

  4. Sad and poignant. Liked this.

    Here from tiel's blog.

    covert Love


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