Takeaways from a Hospital Stay: A Poem

Submitted by Jim Owen

Tags: hospital poem

Takeaways from a Hospital Stay: A Poem

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Caregivers double-check everything
Shifts change, nobody wants mistakes:
Your name,
Your birthdate,
What you are there for,
Which part needs attention.
Good ones treat you like a person
Not just their latest diagnosis.

They explain
What they are about to do,
Ask you to help in some way…
Say if it will hurt.
They smile as they touch you,
Even if they are doing it,
Saying it,
For the five-thousandth time.

Your body is on display
Again and again,
An everyday body,
Not a statue by Rodin
Or a magazine’s centerfold.
Your modesty 
Dissipates like fog at sunrise
With every necessary

Some pain comes with
Treatment and recovery.
You will be surprised
How alert your body is
To any intervention.
Your caregivers
Will do what they can,
They will tell you
What you can do on your own.
Pain proves you are alive,
A sentient being, 
More real than the car
You came in.