Thoughts While Waiting in the Emergency Room

Thoughts While Waiting in the Emergency Room

A Solo Mom writes a poem for her son

Thoughts While Waiting in the Emergency Room

For Philip

Inside the hush of this humid night,

I feel your thoughts landing on me:


feathers moving with the weight

of bones.

That is your way. The constant pulling

then pushing of you,

you whom I birthed

in the middle of a windy storm. I remember


to the pelting of ice

against the blackened hospital windows

the soft water droplets mingling

with the shards of ice

the way the ice splintered

against the solid window as you moved

down my shifting bones

and into this world.

Was it in you then? Planted in

that wet storm with the wild spatter

of stars,

was something born within you

that makes you want to move

outside your own bones?

The way you hide by swallowing tablets,

or inside the smoke of your room

the blue waves you ride.

Once, we rode blue waves together

underwater like that

when you lived inside me:

dove down to feel weightless, to feel the arc

of gravity break for a moment

that first summer I found out I was having you

18 years ago

I rode blue waves with you, spoke to you

said your name.


I sit in the cupped chair

of this hospital

hoping they can wake you,

the way I once woke you to this world.

You who won’t let me in

not into your thoughts and now

banned from the room

the nurse says you are of age,

and it’s my choice to wait for you.

Always my choice, sweet son,

always waiting for the rage

you hold toward me to abate

the way I waited for the storm

to abate the night you were born.

Your words,

tangible as ice, splintering

against my skin

The way you take love

and transform it

into rupture.

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