Poetry Submission


She lies silent
dwarfed by the tubes
and lines
strangely swollen
and stiff

Her fingers feel
to the touch
as if they were
made of wax

The respirator
hisses and clicks
forcing air
into her sodden lungs

We are
plodding through
the tasks
of the morning
reciting lists
and numbers

grave percentages
Ransom’s Criteria
blood gases

It all seems
so inappropriately
I want
to scream

This is not
“an interesting case”
This is Mattie,
hugged me
just a week ago
at her annual exam

I lean over
And whisper
“Hang in there
It’s me..
I see you”

by: MaryBeth Salama, MD

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