Monday, September 10, 2012



Arrayed as if this ward were some bright deck
scrubbed for a long, romantic, costly cruise,
they wait for passengers, steel arm and neck
gleaming with welcome. Three, exchanging views,
huddle like cronies glad to be aboard
together among strangers; here and there
a loner muses; two lean close to hoard
some gossip much too scandalous to share.

Nurses in soft pastels chatter and smile;
light music tinkles somewhere overhead,
and floral paintings in a sprightly style
conjure the ghost of summer, long since dead.
But wheelchairs, glinting, wink as if to say,
Not now, not yet, but you and I, someday..."
"Wheelchairs" by Rhina P. Espaillat, from Playing At Stillness. © Truman State University Press, 2005. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
From "The Writers Alamanac"

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