confessions of a nurse

I know what I'm supposed to say.

I am to offer up words of comfort to you,

like cookies baked fresh out oven

to stuff your face with so you won't have to deal

with the insincerity of saying

"I'm okay."


I know what I'm supposed to say.

I am to tell you that you can beat this,

that the doctors will find some new prescription,

and the scientists are working over time

all to discover a cure that will line your body

with life.


I know what I'm supposed to say.

I am to recount all the things you have done,

so you don't feel like you haven't had your fun

in the sixteen years you've been able to breathe

free of a tube and a heart monitoring machine.

But we both know you're too smart

to believe a wasted lie I can't even bring myself

to try to speak, because your eyes burn holes through my body,

and you don't even have to ask the question

because we both know it's yes.

Some sickness sheer will can't survive.


And I know it's my job, but right now,

I want to tell my boss to go f*ck himself.

And I know I'm supposed to treat you with care,

but I want to take you sky-diving

just so you can feel the wind through your nonexistent hair.

And I know I'm not family or friend,

I'm just an attendant that checks to see

if you remembered to breathe tonight,

but I wish I could unlock you from this cage of pills and needles,

book you a hotel room with your favourite someone to cuddle with,

because the truth is we both know the truth is

sixteen is too young to die.


And I know it's my job, but sometimes,

the patient isn't the first to cry.

The End

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