Night Shift at the Hospital by Stephanie Bradbury

Predisposed to darkness

to counterclockwise rhythms

Time rolls by on rumpled stretchers

scrapes fresh color from

painted walls where corners

crave attention

In these temporary rooms

things get left behind

The gift shop flowers tiring

bent at the waist

their sudden fame

now over

Half-deflated balloons

sulking in the corner

still waiting to be filled

In the quiet we listen for pins of rain

and watch the skyline fracture

and heal in uncounted measures

Out there a billion sleepy eyes

flutter unchanged

they’ve seen this all before

Floors below

Earth foams at the mouth

and takes the wounded

into her wounds

In those lost hours we forget

all that’s said in what is not

let yawn and sigh intersect

And grease the swivel chairs

that cry out in the night

Stephanie is a 29-year-old registered nurse who lives in Georgia with her husband and two children, one of whom is autistic. She enjoys reading and writing poetry, and hopes to get up the nerve to read it aloud one day.

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