Out of winter’s cold and into the hospital, how could there be anything but warmth? Still, a greater chill comes over me, and my breath is sucked out of me as I pause at the door to the corridor. Only nine, maybe ten, this girl before me, tucked into a wheelchair with a blanket, her head wrapped so that no hair is visible. Is there any?
My warning to brace for the cold as I hold the door open is met with her mother’s wan smile, but the child’s laughter is a reminder that hardship, sorrow, and joy are relative to each of us. Perspective takes a bow when least expected, but when needed most, and I’m flooded with warmth.
This is my response to Day 1 at napowrimo.net, where Maureen asks us to write a prose poem that is about the body and contains “an encounter between two people, some spoken language, and at least one crisp visual image.”
This encounter as I was walking into Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY, was a reminder of why I donated platelets, sometimes up to twenty-four times a year.