An Anthology of Poetry and Medicine


by Nan Darbous Marthaller

i sit in the quiet that is not quiet
my lips slowly moving through blessed verse
                                                 that soothes
while the life-sustaining equipment
                                      sucks and sighs
i’m stiff from sitting bedside
but i dare not move
                       or release
the hand i’m holding and periodically twitches
      fingers that occasionally squeeze
i watch closed eyelids flicker in medicated sleep
                       lips moving silently
and i glance at the jagged rhythm dancing on a monitor
                             lines of life
i touch the wetted triangular pink sponge on a plastic stick
            to the lips i long to kiss
a drop runs down the chin
a tear runs down my cheek
i try not to move
at risk of becoming entwined
                               entangled in the tubes
                                                         lines and leads
that sustain life
i come to know them
i can name them
my eyes trace them over and over
                               from source to endpoint


This page has paths: