More than four hours later, we emerge,
squinting into a July afternoon, absorbing
its heat into blood, fingers, and toes.
More than four hours and yet we know
—is this even possible?—less than
when we arrived. Did they hear what I said?
No, the thick summary tells me. What I sensed,
While you read your book and simmered in
a stew of frustration, boredom, helplessness;
while the aides arranged their upcoming vacation
days; while I stared at the walls in a haze
of pain and killers of pain, a few people
worked, very slowly, at
not finding answers, not offering a single comfort,
not understanding the meaning of “cannot stand
or walk on it”, not making accurate notations.
When all was said and done, we walked away with
an assurance that a bone I never suspected was
broken or dislocated is, in fact, intact.
They told me I needed to lose weight—I am a woman,
after all—then politely, but soundly, dismissed me.
And that—believe me—was a skill
at which they were very practiced, indeed.
(c) 2017, by Hannah Six
Image: A Souvenir, John William Godward, 1920