DURING A HOSPITAL VISIT
by Robert K. Johnson
Persistent as the itch
of poison ivy, I prod
my mother’s doctor with questions—
to make sure he keeps worrying
about her; and urge the nurses
to provide her with as much
bed ease as possible.
In her room, I place June-fresh flowers
by her pillow—hoping to nudge her
to a smile that blends with the sunlight.
Then, bending close to her whisper,
I hear her say, “Last night
the orderlies made me dance
naked outside in the snow,”
and I feel as helpless
as a button dangling by a thread.
Copyright © 2010 by Robert K. Johnson.