There is Great Love

Hospital in Arles. 1889. Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

Hospital in Arles. 1889.
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) 

There is great love in this place of devastation
dire illness, rank injury, and near death
I watch from my room’s uncurtained door
the  Brownian movement of white coats
stethoscopes dangling, aids in blue, nurses white
incessant motion, seemingly without meaning
they look at a board I see the edge of and rush off
urgently beyond the narrow scope of my vision
I miss the action when they come to work on me
they draw the curtain that distracts me from my pain
I joke where there are no jokes, let them probe.
One more CAT scan before I rise to higher floors
but still must wait in the corridor and see the action newly.
Then I see them coming, the worried, anxious and fearful
lovers of those thrown up, wrecked here.
A soft eyed black family waiting to know for their son was shot,
Japanese crying, solitary women dreading their love’s fate,
There is great love in this place of devastation.

Kent Bowker     1/18/2016

Kent BowkerKent Bowker  started with poetry at Berkeley in the Fifties, then became a physicist working mainly in optics.  His new book of poems is Katharsis: Sifting Through a Mormon Past.  He lives in Essex, next to the Great Marshes and is treasurer of the Charles Olson Society.

 

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