Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


by J. K. Durick         

Hospital hallways are filled with
Strange shapes and odd odors
And a beeping that repeats like
A pulse or counting down, or up
To some elusive number of beeps
Rhythmic, hypnotic, the measure
Of this place and its time.

Hospital hallways are filled with
Motion and the sound of people
Caught up in the business of being.
I passed young women who were
Smiling and carrying balloons, and
A groups of medical people chatting
With the importance of themselves.
I passed a whole family who walked
In a daze of what had just happened
Or what was going to happen soon.
A young woman ran by crying and
Weaving through the crowd that gave
Way and seemed disinterested in tears –
Hospital hallways make people act
Like that – self absorbed, insular.

Hospital hallways are filled with
Helpful directions. It’s the blue line
To Baird four today, to my uncle who
At ninety-two is afraid of everything
He says, but not of dying. Yesterday
He said that if he was to stay overnight
He’d need to call home for permission.
Poor John, always the dutiful son,
Always the dutiful brother and uncle,
Poor John, the last of a generation
Waiting at the end of this hallway, at
the end of this blue line, waiting for
me to sit with him and hold his hand.
Perhaps, that’s what all these hallways
are really for.

1 comment:

  1. Vinodkumar EdacheryMay 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Nice thoughts about hallways