The Source

The nurse occasionally
came into the room
and check the equipment.
She would monitor
blood pressure,
body temperature,
and respiration,
and then she would ask
politely, “How are you doing?”
I would usually just nod my head,
and she would leave.
The room was small for
a two-bed hospital room.
An old curtain hung
from the tiled ceiling,
creating a barrier between
the two beds,
a barrier between
two worlds of sickness.
Above each bed,
a florescence light flickered
between dark and light,
between that invisible point,
where what is real
and unreal merge.
I would often watch
as the faded white walls
moved within the flicker
of light,
hoping to see into that
unknowable darkness,
that hung so pervasive
all around me.
I thought about how we
had grown up,
so poor,
and yet happy
in a childish way;
never having the things
that others seemed to have,
yet we always had laughter.
The Nurse entered the room
and walked over to the bed,
she attached a small pump
to the intravenous line
that ran into the right arm.
I couldn’t say anything,
I just watched
as she attached the pump
with a small bag of saline
and the words morphine sulfate
written on a red sticker
attached to the bag.
The time had come,
after all these years
just lying in bed.
The time had come
to remove me
from the source
of my being,


© 2000 Jim Cain