Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Hospital Corridor

This week's Sunday Scribbling's prompt is "hospitals". I set out to write a beautiful, life-affirming piece about the time I've spent helping newborn babies and mothers to breastfeed, but this came out instead.

Two strangers
in a hallway cold and green
passing each other
and antiseptic wash
in dispensers by each numbered door
"To Help Protect Our Patients"

Strange smells
hospital smells
and meat loaf
mingle with cleaning fluid
pushed on a cart

Hesitant smiles
a querying glance
quickly veiled
is their news good
is it better than ours
no, mustn't ask

The next day
the same face
back again
just like you
perhaps it's time
to share a smile
or a coffee

a fleeting moment
with a kindred spirit
will make it easier to return
to that numbered room
yet again


Pen said...

I think that this piece captured how it feels to be a visitor at a hospital quite well.

Kellan said...

I loved this - excellent! Have a nice Sunday - see ya.

Anonymous said...

Oh Robin, you bring back so many memories of the time I spend in NICU not so long ago, every line made me relive my past, wonderful piece- thank you for sharing.

Beau Brackish said...

Illness and meatloaf. You capture the hospital visiting experience perfectly with those three words. The taste of both never goes away.

Excellent poem!

Anonymous said...

You truly captured the image of hospitals.

Tumblewords: said...

Great! Your words are so descriptive of the experience and the uneasiness of being there, even as a visitor. I wondere why it's necessary to have horrible food.

bonggamom said...

Ugh, I can smell that meatloaf now!

deedee said...

I like the feeling you've captured here.

Jo said...

Yep, you got hospitals down pat....why is the food so grim?

gma said...

Very good poem! Love the mix of smells and hesitant smiles.

Sandra.if said...

I like your optimistic perspective in that environment...

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

That's mondo fab, babe.

Funny how sometimes, there's something in us that needs to come out and it finds a way despite our best authorial intents, huh?

Anonymous said...

It brought out the essence of a hospital visit..the confusion, the hesitant feelings..

sister AE said...

I really like the lines:
"is their news good
is it better than ours"

I was never sure if I wanted their news to be good in the silly, superstitious thought that there was only so much good news to go around in times like that.

Nice poem.

Devil Mood said...

So true!

Janet said...

this piece reminded me so much of the nursing home where my mother spent the last months of her life...

Gill said...

An excellent piece! I think hospitals are the same in any country, because your poem creates images that exactly capture my hospital experiences.