Hurt, hurting, imprisoned in bed, metal framework protruding from bone, in worry, in pain.
Weeks in concrete walls, fluorescent-light panel your only light and view.
Resolves to time at your childhood home, hospital bed in the back bedroom-
Finally a window bringing in sun, moving clouds and birdsong
But looking ahead at weeks of uncertainty and recuperation,
Damaged nerves zing down tender limbs
Will they ever bear weight again? Carry correct messages? Will bones really knit?
Long night hours spent in just holding off waking the loved one for the bedpan
Daytime drifts from disturbing dreams, teamed with bouts of boredom, laced through with sharp blades of panic
Holding on by a thread
Where are your friends, when you need them so much?
Well, the best ones, they come.
Through the small black box of a phone but also for real
But no one can enter the house! A ladder is put to the bedroom window
Sara leaves her baby twins and comes to climb up to the window to talk
She brings yoga pillows, pregnancy pillows, wiped and sanitary, to support the helpless body of her childhood friend
She brings alcohol wipes, to clean the ladder and windowsill for the next guest
Michelle comes with music and herbs, stands on the ladder for hours, pees in the bushes I guess
She is the best listener, quiet in the pauses, leaves openings for real fear to be expressed
She carries a box of medical gloves in her car, in case she is challenged by police for making an unnecessary excursion she will say she is delivering supplies; these are the early days of severe restriction and alarm
Bob comes from the house next door. He has known our patient all the 34 years since she was born.
At 79 he climbs the ladder, brings a book, a favorite biography
Day after day he reads, chapters interrupted with life stories from an elder activist to a younger
Perched on the ladder, shares laughter and also hope for her future,
A future of meaningful work, almost unimaginable
At these moments, imagined
Their act of climbing the ladder, the beloved faces appearing in the window
Change the days, change the year, bring