Oct/Nov 2005 Poetry Special Feature

Hospital Emergency 2 am

by Barbara De Franceschi

Hospital Emergency 2 am

beeping machines
a baby’s whimper
raspy breaths
hysterical teenager

an impersonal moon
looks through the skylight
I wonder why temperatures
harsh coughs
bronchial spasms
reach a pivotal point
in moonlit hours

disease has no consideration
broken sleep
slapdash make-up
clothes pulled on in a hurry
odd socks
indignant hair

so what moon
are you grinning sardonically
who will support your lunar cycles
in sickness
the sun will be dancing with thistles
in another hemisphere
the stars too busy twinkling
you will have to struggle alone
in half doses
& quarter slices

I wipe a clammy brow
reach for a feverish hand
beneath a white cotton sheet
hold it tight
as if to show the moon
& myself
what love is


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