Imagine you are running down a hospital corridor.
It is like a television with the sound off,
silent film, only constant green flick, flick, flick,
of fluorescent tubes passed, nurses running alongside
a hospital bed, oxygen tank attached to the back,
others racing with the I.V. pole— there are six, seven nurses,
a doctor rushes up and is given a quick report,
their mouths move, hands move, the movie moves.

We are running because my son has stopped breathing,
we are running for the elevator to take him to I.C.U.—
Intensive Care Unit. You go in your stats are bad
the moment you go—and you either make it back—
or you don’t. I laugh—no one gets it—this is just a blip—
you don’t understand how full of life he is— just look at him—
this won’t beat him—medical personnel are telling me
how serious this is—they just can’t see the life in him;
I look through them as if they are ghosts—I can’t help it,
I see through them. “Relax, he’s going to be OK.” “Perhaps
you don’t understand how serious this is.” They can’t see
the life that is in him—this is just an illusion.

Did I make the wrong choice? Should I have known
as the doctors and nurses knew, this was the beginning of death?
That his liver had died inside him, and his life was over, though
it would take two months more and me never believing he
would not live. Two days before he died, he woke up and watched
his favourite movie cradled in his mother’s arms—can’t you see
the life? Turn the sound off, concentrate on the picture.
Did I make the wrong choice to believe you would live?

I don’t need help making wrong choices—I have made as many
as I could even without you—wrong deals, wrong loves, wrong
moments, and never certain which was the worst. Did I fail you?
No, I know I ran alongside of you alive, always sure you would
survive the green flicker of lights as the gurney races along
and I could almost sing so everyone could hear the life clearly
how much I love you, tell them to stop listening for a moment
to the train crossing clanging “this is your stop”.

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