I Almost Said (It’s okay to cry.)

The visitor’s chair had sheets on it
So I sat down on her walker.
I asked what I always ask first (How is your day going?)
She said what she always says first (It’s okay)
Then she added (But my sister didn’t show up. She was supposed to
visit me.)
I try to make her feel better (I’m sorry. She’ll visit soon?
Maybe one of your other siblings can visit too?)

The woman in front of me burst into tears on the hospital bed.
(She’s the only one that visits me.)
She wiped the tears with her hand still underneath her sheet.
I shift closer. I am sitting on her bed. She is sobbing with her mouth open.
Her tears fill the bags beneath her eyes.
I bring her a tissue and the skin sags with each dabbing.

The IV tube blocks her hand from mine (It hurts; they just put it in a few minutes ago.
The nurse had bad fingers.)
I remain seated without much to say. ( )
Doctors walk by.



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