nursing


A young boy holds puzzle pieces between his fingers and, standing in a hospital room, stares on as a large nurse rips a long brown tube from his grandmother‘s nose, then turning her over and exposing her sagging backside to the room–a boy, now without puzzle pieces (a hand has replaced them), is led out of the room.

Now outside, the puzzle sits half finished (a crab is taking shape). The boy sits at a card table next to an open window–a crisp breeze streams in, brushing his bangs back–outside, through the frame of the window, leaves twist downward onto the white foam of a brown river, swept downstream and through downtown (which is cupped in a bend of the river like an egg delicately held in a hand).

From the grandmother’s room, a high-pitched wail, a constant beeping–round, glob-like beeps–in rush nurses clad in green smocks, and some doctors in blue. A man in a flannel shirt slowly leaves the room, frown lines extending to his chin. He scratches his short beard and turns to the boy, who is still sitting at the table. The boy looks up. A tuft of his hair wafts in the breeze. Sunlight, golden green, streams through the window, illuminating them both; looking in with it, we see:

A small chest rising and falling; two large hands now resting
On a boy’s slouched shoulders. The right, patting slowly
Up and down, squeezing–

and from it, expanding outwards,
A gentle warmth with feeling.

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