By Broeck Wahl Blumberg
PROMPT—During Covid-19 ...
In the distance, I can see and hear my people
All of them—mother, father, friends,
my beloved deceased husband--
But I cannot reach them.
My lifelong recurring nightmare,
I try to speak, cry out, scream,
And no one hears.
These things happen—in hospitals, bedrooms, prisons.
I was in the hospital, my jaws wired together,
An orderly in the hall passed with a cart, saying, ‘orange juice.’
I called, shouted, yet no human sound emerged.
The wheels kept rolling.
The facts of the case—the partially botched surgery,
The lack of understanding of the need for surgery,
The long muffled convalescence of damaged nerve ends—
Were only the facts.
I screamed and no one heard.
But now it is with sorrow, not rage,
I call to my beloveds.
They have stopped on their journey,
Turn to face me.
In the distance I see them,
But they do not hear.
Broeck Wahl Blumberg is a retired journalist for a Tokyo-based political-economics journal. She also taught writing for corporations, at the World Trade Institute in NY, and for Cornell's Off-Campus College program. She has lived in northern NJ for 47 years.