A Malignant Christmas

I stand quietly outside the patient room,
The room in which currently sit
A young couple
And their eight-month-old daughter,
Whose new cancer diagnosis
I hold
In the printed lab results
Clutched in my trembling hands.

I glance at my watch:
12:01 AM
It’s now officially Christmas.
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Plays faintly from a nurse’s computer.

In the moment it takes me
To open the room door,
I realize
Kids are already unwrapping presents
Just a few time zones away.

There’s a fucking nativity scene
On the front lawn of the hospital,
I’m telling a mother and a father,
“Her lab results came back…”


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Itinerant doctor | Intermittent blogger

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