Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Eleventh of January (Poem)

The Eleventh of January

They place you on your side,
intending to relieve your pain,
its source wanting to be found.

Already, you have been in hospital
more than ten days, the pain sharp
like the edges of each broken bone

in your spine. They find the tear,
an obstruction, note the swell
of your abdomen (like your belly

must've been when you were child-
bearing). They administer morphine,
Butran, so many other drugs —

those names I can't remember —
doses always at maximum levels.
You reach far into your memory

bank, chatter on end without sleep.
They call it hospital delirium,
let it run its course — as it does

before sleep slips into your room.
They review your DNR order,
make clear that surgery is not

an option, inform your daughters
the end of your stay draws near.
We consider the few possibilities,

agree on what's needed that is
not enough. By day 15 you are
anchored for a move, not the last

you will make, your future without
date certain until that morning
beginning the eleventh of January.

© 2018 Maureen E. Doallas