A Gift of Island Poetry ft. Sadie McCarney

All merry, then, in the waiting room: 
I thumb Reader’s Digest like someone’ll watch
while Mum ticks her maladies off on a pad, 
but swathed in her johnny shirt she laughs. 
Sister shifts on her orthopedic foam. 

We fiddle with pamphlets: lymph nodes 
and the damages we do to hearts. 
Madcap Medusas, in wires and electrodes, 
roll past. The scritch of gauze on hurt. 

Nurses tut at our slapstick smiles;
our timing’s all off. But sister yells, “Flirt 
for extra morphine!”
and the hall’s a grocery aisle 
stocked with symptoms. Past PT, the nursery, 
our Mum rolls on—the jester on her gurney. 

—Sadie McCarney

Each month Bren Simmers selects a poem by an Island poet for The Buzz.