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Cyndi  MacMillan Avatar Cyndi  MacMillan - LIFETIME Premium Member Cyndi  MacMillan - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled FETAL POSITION IN THE ER which was written by poet Cyndi MacMillan. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The poem is below.


Broken but disbelieving, we wait   
for any doctor to say it’s just blood
as the gray man greens, throws-
up in triage. A Goth teen holds Band-Aids
to her scalped thumb.  Somebody loses  
patience, explodes, Why are the sick 
treated this way? Doors dilate & the sick 
smell of antiseptics greets a waitress    
wearing a steak knife. We are cribbed by loss;   
gone, teeny heartbeats as I pass blood 
clots. A junkie limps, unaided,
to the bathroom,  another throw 
away human, unlike a tot thrown   
from a fire. Unforgettable, that sickening  
sound, shrill scream after scream raids  
the room of complaints. Hell won’t wait 
for examination, I learn, as bloodshot 
eyes meet mine. Hope is lost. 
Patients stoically sit. Some lose 
change to a vending machine.  A cop throws 
a look to his charge.  Words drift, bloody 
stool, x-rays, concussion. Sick talk to the sick.   
My hand is gently squeezed. No one else waits- 
out a miscarriage. I watch an aid 
swab vintage tiles, restack HIV/AIDS 
pamphlets as if they’re a deck of cards, like loss 
is just some hand dealt. Somewhere, a mother waits
for her boy to sleep, will wash bottles, throw
out dirty diapers.  Somewhere, a heartsick 
father releases bloodcurdling  
sobs because a body was found.  Blood
is both bond & amputation.  I took first aid
so I know why the sickest
get priority.  Besides, we've already lost                            
each other,  little one.  Our separation has thrown
me off balance. Why couldn't you wait?
As if I need hearing aids, a nurse throws 
my name out to the sick, the lost, ER roommates. 

No. I'll never be ready. Let the bloody stirrups wait...

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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Date: 7/1/2017 8:55:00 AM
Somehow loosing a life is triaged so low, as to wait. What a shame, we have come to this? Wonderful, emotive write. I hope it is fictional, I'm so sorry if it isn't.
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Date: 6/19/2017 8:30:00 AM
A talented write and heart breaking topic. Leaves me with a heavy heart, probably because I know the weight of this particular loss. Good job, Cyndi. =) L & H, Catie
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Date: 6/18/2017 7:55:00 PM
A visceral heartbreaking look at loss and pain that the well-meaning seem to speak of so casually.... When they often say it's for the best if a pregnancy is not viable, as if those feelings can just be erased. I can relate. My daughter lost her first. This is such a powerful piece and so well-written Cyndi! ; )
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Date: 6/18/2017 7:28:00 PM
tough, touching write and read. I like your variation of words for the sestina. A dreadful place to be, ER - for both patients and staff, who are usually work-overloaded and sleep deprived. Love the last stanza and lines :)
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