Callous

byDesejo©

They come with their families
he says, pointing to hospital beds
a mother curled next to her child
two boys sleeping head to toe
one with a tube in his arm
the other keeping him company.

What can we say?
It's not ideal, dangerous in fact,
But we have little choice.
We cannot even enforce visiting hours.

There are not enough beds.
We have filled the hallways with benches
put mattresses on them when we can
The government hospital has more beds
But still they come here.

A woman waits in the corridor
to speak with the Doctor
an infant strung close to her
snug in a nokken twisted out of tree bark.
Malaria beads break on her brow like a flood.

She walked from her village
Four days on foot down steep mountain trails
through glacial streams and dirt paths
finally reaching the hot tarmac of paved road.

She is barefoot.
The calluses on her feet
make her an inch taller than she really is
Still she reaches only my shoulder

That night at the hotel bar, sipping a beer
I watch CNN reporters talk about equality, healthcare and foreign policy.

Report Story

byDesejo© 2 comments/ 1155 views/ 3 favorites

Share the love

Similar stories

Report a Bug

1 Pages:1

Please Rate This Submission:

Please Rate This Submission:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Please wait
Favorite Author Favorite Poem

heartbutters, Cinner and 1 other people favorited this poem! 

Recent
Comments
by Anonymous

If the above comment contains any ads, links, or breaks Literotica rules, please report it.

There are no recent comments (2 older comments) - Click here to add a comment to this poem or Show more comments or Read All User Comments (2)

Add a
Comment

Post a public comment on this submission (click here to send private anonymous feedback to the author instead).

Post comment as (click to select):

You may also listen to a recording of the characters.

Preview comment

Forgot your password?

Please wait

Change picture

Your current user avatar, all sizes:

Default size User Picture  Medium size User Picture  Small size User Picture  Tiny size User Picture

You have a new user avatar waiting for moderation.

Select new user avatar:

   Cancel