You Woke up in a Hospital Bed

You Woke Up in a Hospital Bed

I live someplace else now, I don’t know where that is.

                                                          Eve Ensler- The Vagina Monologues

 

You are propped against overstuffed pillows

chin up, knees up-

a needle invades the natural fold in your left elbow

and the nurse is at your side, scooping grey applesauce

into the corner of a partitioned plate.

 

The rotten peach walls whirl across your pinched vision

and what you wouldn’t give to have your mother

masking her whimper in the corner…

must have stocked up on self-pity.

The nurse insists “You’re lucky.”

 

“Lucky” you mutter

and the word smears itself across your lips

like the blackberries Sam would steal for you on Sunday mornings,

juice trickling down to a sun-baked porch.

Wipe it up with a rag— good as new.

 

He knows what his mother went through.

 

Your eyes scrape up sleep

and in the background

you detect the nurse’s amateur tune

barely audible above the ventilation system…

“Someday, my prince will come.”

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POMEGRANATE

POMEGRANATE

 

When I found her,

she was a shredded pansy petal,

died indigo

trapped against damp pant-suits, stiff collars & lash lines smeared with distracted tenderness.

 

When I found her,

she was curled tight to the chipped linoleum.

Her palms clutched her kidneys

& the sharp edge of sympathetic Hallmarks slapped with mass-produced emotion:

 

sorry for your loss…

thinking of you…

heartfelt feelings…

 

When I found her,

She sniffled & choked twice on a cough that I pretended not to hear.

This woman leaked through her eyelids. 

I squinted through mine from the fluorescents in the funeral home bathroom.

 

When I found her,

I crouched to hand her one last cut of cardstock.

It was a leftover scrap from the photo collage they made together last winter

when he was still here.

 

The torn edges of the paper scraped her fingertips

as she saw the large scrawl in pomegranate:

I miss him too, mommy.