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Hospital

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It seems so—         
I don’t know.  It seems   
as if the end of the world   
has never happened in here.   
No smoke, no   
dizzy flaring except   
those candles you can light   
in the chapel for a quarter.   
They last maybe an hour   
before burning out.   
                            And in this room   
where we wait, I see   
them pass, the surgical folk—     
nurses, doctors, the guy who hangs up   
the blood drop—ready for lunch,   
their scrubs still starched into wrinkles,   
a cheerful green or pale blue,   
and the end of a joke, something   
about a man who thought he could be—   
what?  I lose it   
in their brief laughter.

Poem copyright ©2006 by Marianne Boruch, whose most recent book of poetry is Grace, Fallen from, Wesleyan University Press, 2008. Poem reprinted from “TriQuarterly,” Issue 126, by permission of Marianne Boruch.
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Hospital

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