Operating Room, Upper East Side, March 1945

Those wooden floors with their pine-scented antiseptic
and the argus-eyed lights in the gunmetal shadows
of the 59th Street Bridge. And there you are, a small boy

strapped to a gurney as the mask covers your face,
the sweet smell muffling your cries, two nurses in white
guiding you down some endless hall, the click of wheels

going round & round. And your younger brother tied
to the table beside you, still and unmoving, as if already
lost, and the ether takes hold and the body goes under.

The body unfolds & the music begins, much as a mother’s
musings, the missing mother who went off through
the locked door, whispering it’s all right, it’s all right,

my little ones, you’ll be fine, fine, just fine-O. And you listen
in the time you have left to the honeyed humming
in the spinning brain, the merest medley of song, so that

even the glint of that scalpel becomes part of the song now,
as the mother sings on, bending above you, bidding
her pretty ones to let go as she has and give over to sleep.

MICHAEL TRUSCOTT
5 years 2 months ago

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

In this Feb. 13, 2013 file photo, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs during the band's concert at the Wiltern in Los Angeles (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
So many of Cornell’s songs are filled with Christological and sacramental imagery.
Community, sacrament and Scripture: by means of these three mysteries Christ and his church would defy time.
Terrance KleinMay 24, 2017
Pope Francis poses with U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, during a private audience at the Vatican May 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-TRUMP-MEET May 24, 2017.
How are church leaders and Vatican watchers responding to the highly anticipated visit?
The EditorsMay 24, 2017
Photo via Starz
What type of god would force us to believe? Can we even be forced to believe?
Wyatt MasseyMay 24, 2017