Whiteboard Names


It doesn’t matter that her hip is broken.
That her belly has been split open
Like the watermelon she served with lunch.
Stapled back together in the straightest crooked line
Like the quilt she once wrapped her son in.

Because she’ll wake up tonight surrounded by strangers
Who have to check a whiteboard every time they enter
Just to know her name.

But that’s not her name.
It sounds wrong.
It’s not the name she likes to be called
In the voice she likes to hear it from the most.

There’s a tube down her throat so she can’t ask
Where’s my son?

And thank God.
Thank God for one more moment
Of ignorance for this broken woman
The blessing of possibility defeating probability
For even a second longer.
Because he’s not here
He will never be here
And that pain will always be worse.

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