August 6th, 2008

poetry, exceptindreams

263: Riveted

Robyn Sarah

It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
It is possible that we are past the middle now.
It is possible that we have crossed the great water
without knowing it, and stand now on the other side.
Yes: I think that we have crossed it. Now
we are being given tickets, and they are not
tickets to the show we had been thinking of,
but to a different show, clearly inferior.

Check again: it is our own name on the envelope.
The tickets are to that other show.

It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
without waiting for the last act: people do.
Some people do. But it is probable
that we will stay seated in our narrow seats
all through the tedious dénouement
to the unsurprising end - riveted, as it were;
spellbound by our own imperfect lives
because they are lives,
and because they are ours.

I'm working in the Pediatric Emergency Room and the Palliative Care Unit at my local hospital, which is where they treat symptoms (as opposed the actual problem) as well as dealing with End of Life issues. This poem about life being different than how we wanted it to be strikes me today as especially relevant, considering I've been around people who would do almost anything to have a life in which they were not dying now.