“5pm in the hospital”

Aurora Sullivan, 2017

The mothers are thinking of ordering dinner,
Looking out the portholes to see if storms are gathering
Breathing a sigh of relief at the empty sky
The mothers are pushing strollers up and down the hallways,
The babies cry every time they stop moving.
The mothers are cracking jokes with the nurses and sanitizing their hands
They are turning quickly away from the bathroom mirrors
The mothers are singing and reading books and praying,
Visiting the gift shop for the hundredth time
The mothers are only screaming internally
The mothers are tired of pizza,
The mothers are calling their own mothers on the telephone,
Saying “tell me what to do,”
The mothers are snatching sleep in gulps punctuated by whispers,
Chasing dreams of smiling babies and a good cup of coffee

Image credit: The Hospital Waiting Room [Lynn Hunt / The National Arts Program]

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