Touch: The Journal of Healing



Sitting Quietly

    by Ed Bennett

When my mother was ill

I sat in the waiting area,

too young to visit the ward

but old enough for the discipline

of sitting quietly for an hour.

My father would emerge

with his ruddy, wrinkled face

wordlessly taking me home.

He spoke somberly, disingenuously,

that she was getting better.

I’m at the Surgical Center today

sitting quietly as they engulf you

in white sheets and intravenous drip

for the euphemism of “minor surgery”.

I am once again a nine year old boy.

It is a busy day for the surgeons,

the waiting room replete with

family members sitting quietly,

counting reluctant passing minutes,

reading without comprehension.

Then they roll you out,

spit from this medical maw

looking spent behind a wan smile

as we get to the car wordlessly

making our way home.

I want to scream in joy and anger

to break this perpetual silence

of rent flesh cathedrals

where imperious, fickle gods

bestow the gifts of joy or grief.

But I put you to bed,

kiss your brow as you sleep,

embrace the familiar silence –

the childhood discipline

of a nine year old boy.

© 2015  Ed Bennett

Ed Bennett is a poet and reviewer living in Las Vegas, NV.  His works have appeared in The Externalist, Touch: The Journal of Healing, The Lavender Review, Quill and Parchment, and Lilipo. He is a staff editor for Quill and Parchment Magazine, the recipient of a Pushcart Nomination and the author of A Transit of Venus.

Copyright © 2015

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.