Saturday, November 26, 2005


I never saw the patient,
only her room,

a sterile concrete cube,
with a single window
dressed in ghost-pale curtains
to prevent too much sunlight visiting,

a single bed,
the rippled sheets,
broken lines outlining
where she slept;

her lunch cooling on a tray,
unfinished; a cup of water
beside a coloring book,

A box of crayons,
red and green missing,
lay flat on the table
by the bed. There,

I found what I came for:

her blood. I grabbed
the tubes, then walked –-
ran –-
down to the lab.

“Process this one right away”,
I told the white coats
running the blood work,
“it belongs to a child.”

My supervisor tapped her finger
on a stack of case sheets,
“So is this one. Just
put hers in
like the rest.”

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