Surprise

It was all white
And the air conditioner
Groaned too loudly
The smell of disinfectant
Somehow made me feel
More vulnerable
Inside this small hospital.
The cushion I sat on
In the waiting room
Is ripped in places
And flattened
Under the weight
Of all those waiting before
I pick at its
Exposed flesh
And it comes apart
Like confetti.
I am called and I float
Into the doctor’s cabin
Her pink sleeve
Cutting into her
Sausage linked arm
I try hard
Not to look at it
As she explains
What she found
Inside my mother
She warned me
With deliberate gentleness
About the C-word
Just so, later
In a hospital room
We share with two others
I am not swallowed whole
By my own surprise.
The door opens with a creak
I walk into the room
So small I feel
Its walls slowly
Inching towards me
The bookshelf almost
Leans onto my
Already slumped shoulders
The table is over cluttered
Filled with notepads and pen stands
With the names of drugs
That promise to cure everything
I sit still
And stare blankly
At these abstract scans
These indecipherable insides
Of my Mother
And nod with
a frozen faced calmness
As if I understand
Her words
As if they are not
Just hums in the distance
Until the tiny room
Suddenly stopped
Being just that
And I found myself
Shrinking instead
Until there was just
enough space left there
To hold
My surprise
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