The doctor lay on his bed face up reading
Hemingway, turning pages quickly
and when asked what he was reading
ignored the question and kept going.
The stevedore came out of ECT to take
his shower, confused, grateful for a hand
to help him out as he had been helped in.
The lines in his face filled with a red glow.
Neither one would say a word to the other.
The white walls and ceilings and floors
and plexiglass windows and steel doors
provided silence for speech to endure.
Bobby started speaking only if spoken to.
He read when not writing. He was waiting.
(4 February 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander