They tried too hard, made the hallways smell like lemons,
With floral prints and blessed sayings to hide the acrylic resins
Amidst the polystyrene squares above, with blind luminescence,
this cold empty feeling I couldn’t shake, had exposed to me its senescence
My eyes were bloodshot like I’ve cried on these floors before,
The clock, with clock hands splintered, was uncared for and worn.
The trek of priests on tiresome feet, ones who bore the sacrament of prayer
Pirated where no one dares to look up in fear of seeing their doctor’s despair.
If melancholy looks could justifiably conflagrate into holes,
Then those tears wept in silence would burn hotter than coals
So many gunshots come through, so many holes, one scythed through some vertebrae,
One was betrayed by the alleyway where the worst shadows play—
Sad for her, she was taken away today, and we prayed for her fiance
across the unkind overlays, DNA from her parents eyes still laid.
I traded nervous smiles with the quiet ward newcomers today,
My knuckles crack aggressively like uncanny thunder strafes.
Users and abusers fall through the oft used sliding doors, their veins freshly torn
The homeless arrive in droves, coming to absorb the heat like a blanket worn.
Here we were swathed in silence, while the dense echo of the screens beep,
Asleep are the siblings; sagged in their parents keep—
Last breaths from the freshly dead and sad miens often creep,
The reaper draws closer each room, and continues his assignment to reap.
And like a staccato chorus of dysfunctional drummers offbeat,
The waiting room was stockpiled to the ceilings with impatiently tapping feet.
And the monitors beeped and beeped, echoing louder and louder,
grooming the sanity of the room, as the ensuing hours were devoured.
And time was dismantled down to the seconds while we impatiently waited
So late, that we deflate into our seats; to peer into what the next part of our fate is.
I stay lumped into that gelid space, all choked up, twisting and knotting my hands
As if me doing so would hold the tumult away from all of God’s plan
But I’m up now and pacing, and have seen the same person twice,
So I went strolling for a soda from the machine, and a small cup of ice.
I journeyed back to those tenuously padded chairs of no solace,
The dampish dewdrops from my drink descending in small dollops,
Our often unreliable phone bars departing us, searching for service
with a surplus of clamor making the lingered room quite nervous
The hallways from the waiting room, adjoining to the snack machines—
Were spotty cleaned and tacked up with paintings of tawdry and benign scenes,
I know they were meant to uplift those stuck down in the deepest ravines,
But needless to say this was not that scene, nor was it expected by any means.
As the doors to the hospital catapulted wide open, with medics in route
A gurney real bloody came rocketing by with a soul spread about.
Her oculi were rolled up skyward, and she must have blacked out,
Her parents came running in, in uproars, and having their doubts
The pristine outfits of blues and whites, came rushing to her side,
Unlike the hungry legal leeches, they were there to provide.
As ruckus unfolded in this small room then quietly subsides
then 10 minutes later, and in a manner so vile, the quiet replied.
The looks of disgust as the surgeon’s tore their dust masks away,
It was a look as though their often perfect hands were meant to betray.
As mouths were dropped in torment, and smiles, now frowns, had hit the floor,
The guttural shrieks of such sadness released, was one I had not heard before.
The doctors said to the girl’s mother, that no more could be done,
And in the waiting room our tapping feet in crescendo, sped up to a run.
Those once encouraging smiles attenuated to fear and doubt
As we were all in a panic of that split second of what they talked about.
Again came the ramshackle priest looking tired and worn
As though the moment was like clockwork and he came to perform.
His robe it was sodden, to his shoulders where they grieved
He said to the crying, that her pain was now gone, like that gave them relief.
In a tucked away corner, by a TV, came the widow’s lament,
Appalled by the update she was given, in tears of dissent
The other corner was diametric to sorrow’s descent
Their reaction came soaring like Elysian ascent
As their masks came right off, the doctors couldn’t help but smile
The parents sat there exultant, unable to hold back their soul’s beguile,
But I was still here, stuck, in limbo’s allotted aisle, alone and anxious
The antiseptic air filled my nostrils with what seems an adapted canvas—
Or was that bleach, too hard to tell, it still didn’t clear up the stuffy air,
I didn’t care much anymore; I was ensnared by all these sad affairs
Engaged in their tragedy, enraptured by their disregard for chance
Not compassionate of their circumstance, just their sad lack of plans
I had to keep my mind off of everything, so I listened intently,
to all the gripping sounds the hospital makes, its choral assembly,
the oft beeping heart rates, to the droning sounds of TV fanfare,
to the flies on the walls buzzing away, because the silence is always there.
I’d been here for a while, my phone bars a thing of the past,
Incessantly beeping, the monitors blared, until they shut off at last
Abruptly the floral smell faded, and the room lights slowly dimmed,
I woke up to my wife there, my kids with no cares, my breath full of wind
I squinted my eyes for a second, unaware of what happened
Adapting to the situation, and that damn beeping so distracting
I asked for that ramshackle priest, the one so often in the hallway
When he saw me, he nodded and said, “I prayed for you in silence today.”
I told him my circumstance, how my cousin had broken his ankle,
How his surgery was up next, and his dreams were in shambles
Division one colleges, so enthusiastic, now scrambled,
How his life was now on hold and his future surely cancelled
I was so perplexed of what to do next, unsure of what to expect,
I felt though possessed, my head filled with stress, too many regrets,
The effects of this stress, I was so incensed, the reaper’s caress,
The weight off my chest, my mind in a bind, the world up against.
The moment when I fainted, I Thank God for the suits
The men and women of blue and white, they were so resolute
Their care for humanity, was a thing worthy of repute,
Through all the smells of the hospital, to those medics, I salute.