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It’s a...

by John Grey

She lies in bed,
staring at the ceiling.

Nurses fuss
but say nothing.
Doctors call in sporadically,
listen to her heart, her lungs,
mutter “mmmmmm,”
then leave.

She’s fed through a tube.
They won’t let her bathe.
Visitors are forbidden.
And the bed next to her
has been empty
since the woman with cancer died.

She can no longer remember her youth.
As far as she’s aware,
there’s only ever been this room,
her wasted mind and body.

The man with the collar
around his throat
calls in occasionally,
stands against the white wall,
staring into her dark eyes,
fingering his cross.

Meanwhile, her new baby
giggles and gurgles
from his bright red blanket
in the reinforced steel incubator.
“Got his mother’s eyes,” whispers one observer.
“And his father’s horns,” adds another.

Copyright © 2008 by John Grey

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