Monday, May 13, 2013

POLIO: A poem


On the hospital bed I sit,
my four-year old hands folded
on my lap.  I wait.  We all wait
alone in our pain: four, five,
eight year olds. My gaze glued
to the door of the vast children’s
ward – tall beige walls, dark grey
tiled floors, windows fogged with
years of dust and grime, and sorrow. 

On the white sheets I sit,
in the Hospital de Niños, frail
and dark.  I wait for my mother,
for my father.  We all wait. 
A nun washes my face, combs
my hair.  Makes me pray.  No
breakfast for you today  she says
and moves on to the black-haired
girl next to me, still asleep.

But, before mom and dad arrive,
two burly orderlies wheel me
down the hallway.  Where are
we going?  I ask in my small, brave voice.
In the O.R. the nurse
covers my face with a mask.
What is this?  I ask again.
I don’t hear the answer.


  1. What an scare moment for such a small child... Thanks for the poem.

  2. It was scary. I was so young. I still remember some things.
    Thank you for reading and commenting.

  3. So moving and scary Beatriz...wonderful poem!