Thursday, June 22, 2006

Poetry Thursday: "Waiting for the Radiologist"

"Waiting for the Radiologist"

In the same hospital
where I delivered him
at eight pounds, eight
ounces, the ER nurse
scribbles five foot five,
one hundred forty pounds.

If he could open his mouth
wide enough to smile,
the glint of braces might
catch the flourescent light
in the waiting room, reflect
something brighter than fear.

The last time we sat here,
I held even pressure
on the cut gaping over
his left eye, gripped his hand
when the plastic surgeon
threaded a sterilized needle.

The room irritates me
with rainbows and puppies.
He reaches a man
sized hand toward mine,
squeezes tight in the morse
code of reassurance.

~ljcohen, 2006


  1. An arresting, harrowing, detailed, and memorable piece, and isn't in really good sons (and daughters) to offer parents reassurance at such times?

  2. its always so much harder when your kid gets hurt. Loved the man sized hand....contrated with the puppies and rainbows.


  3. Ah... that moment when the child "becomes" the parent. You caught it. Glad he was ok.

  4. Oh boy can I ever relate to this poem's subject, great poem! You captured that instant so well with the man sized hand.

  5. I love the detail of the braces and their reflecting fear. That’s a great leap from the usual to the unexpected.

  6. Thank you all for your lovely comments. As I said on my workshop board, this was written in one of those 'aha' moments, driven by the event and I really didn't expect so many people would connect as strongly to it as they have. Thank you.