Touch: The Journal of Healing



After the Transplant

    by K.B. Kincer

Letters on his t-shirt spell FIERCE, but crumple

against my son’s chest as he struggles for comfort

inside a nest of pillows I’ve built in the hospital recliner.

What will you do? I ask, looking past hospital cribs,

through windows in ambulances and intensive care,

gateways to graveyards we’ve passed on our road here.

A cats cradle of tubes crisscross behind him

strung between a forest of IV poles that whir and blink.

He coughs a bloody mass from the donor’s death.

What will you do without machines to pull oxygen

from the air? What will you do without sat monitors

and a cannula tethered to the E Tank and mom always

tethered to the E Tank and mom always tethered

to the tank? What will you do, now you no longer

teeter at the brink of a world without breath?

Sunlight strokes the floor again and again, while

nurses flutter in and out to remove tube after tube,

leaving a raw, red, undulate scar across his chest.

His eyes stare at me half closed, half open,

then stare at the door to a hallway filled

with the terrible light of possibility and expectation.

© 2011 K.B. Kincer

K.B. Kincer was awarded an M.F.A. in creative writing with a concentration in poetry from Georgia State University and is currently in the doctoral program there. Her poems have appeared in The Healing Muse, Poet Lore, Dappled Things, Red River Review, The GSU Review, and elsewhere.

Copyright © 2011

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.

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