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The Junkie's Son, Part IV

IV. It started out like it had every year, she went to the hospital, sat on a bench, stared at the eminence from the outside, and felt the stirrings of a heart to be wrenched, just about the time that her jaw was clenched a young man sat on the opposite end, said,”Sorry to bother, but I need a friend.” She was stunned at first, just looked at the man, he was a doctor in a white lab-coat, maybe early thirties, easy-going, and said,”It just feels wrong to not eat with folks. But the café is closed, a gas-line broke.” She felt confused, and muttered an “Oh dear.” The young man just beamed. “So what brings you here?” She stammered,”My son…was born in this place.” Said the doctor,”Funny thing, so was I. In room 207, on the third floor, you can just see it there on the east side. Now I work here, life is funny sometimes.” Maureen was stunned, because she knew that room, it was where her own boy had met his doom. “Of course I didn’t learn about all this Until I went searching for my birth mom. She was long dead, but at least I did learn that some crazy things that night had gone on. But for God’s grace there too I might have gone. The woman next to my mom lost her child… I just can’t imagine such a trial. “I think of my own kids and I shudder, and to know what it would do to my wife… And to my parents, my real ones I mean, to be deprived of a grandchild’s life, that’s just a cut from too sharp of a knife… They had to deal with infertility, and were barely able to adopt me.” He paused and pulled a sandwich from a bag, then said,”I’m sorry, sometimes I like to talk. My wife says no spy would come after me, the world knows everything from how I squawk! But sometimes it does help a man to take stock. So please, tell me more, about your own son? Is he exhausted chasing his little ones?” Her mind raced to think, and she blurted out,”No. No, he hasn’t had any children yet. He…he lives in Ohio, works out there.” She had to lie for fear that she would fret, and fight the tears that she knew she would get. She talked with the man for a half-hour more, Then he said goodbye, went back through the big doors. He was barely in before the tears came, she turned and quickly walked away, the same crack-baby that she had deplored, that she had made the object of her hate, was a good man who fought death every day. All of those years of resentment and derision… she prayed, somehow, she could still be forgiven.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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Date: 8/7/2020 9:59:00 PM
Your stories are so riveting. Madness, you invented this scenario! Terribly sad. A great lesson for everyone to not judge by covers.
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David Welch
Date: 8/8/2020 7:24:00 AM
Well, I didn't invent it whole-cloth. I remember listening to some podcast a while back where a woman was talking about a friend who lost a child, and was resentful towards another friend who's child had survived, and how she had to remind herself how dangerous it was to think that way. So I took that idea and extrapolated it into a narrative, with new people and settings.
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David Welch
Date: 8/8/2020 7:24:00 AM
Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reading.