Tuesday, May 05, 2009

2 a.m.



The hospital smells of disinfectants.
Outside the ICU, a watchful crowd,
Waits on the chairs and on floor,
Crouched on bedsheets.

They watch the door, open and close,
Every time, as the duty nurses,
Whisper the news of change-
Death or recovery or medicine.

Each time, the ears listen,
Sleeping men and women,
Sit up and listen to the name,
The nurses utter this time.

This time, the nurse walks,
Towards a dark frail girl,
Sitting for days together,
In her crumpled pale sari.

She screams "Amma"
Falls to the ground weeping,
As her father mourns quietly,
Her sobs shake her body.

Now and then she screams,
Utters the word "Amma",
Looks up with swollen eyes,
For the approach of more news.

The stretcher is rolled out,
From the ICU, by staff,
Her sobs grow loud and wild
At the sight of her dead mother.

For days, she had sat outside,
Meeting her mother twice a day,
Three minutes at a time,
Her sobs are muted by tiredness.

The eyes, where life flickered
And love shone is still and closed.
Denied a word with parting spirit,
She retreats into a blank silence.

1 comment:

Dr. Nili Marcia said...

This is very powerful and moving, such strong images.