A recent experience that was kind of strange.
your father's in the hospital,
of course you're scared.
Even if they say
it's gonna be okay.
just a little clot.
But of course you're still a little scared.
You're still a little disbelieving.
But you can't do anything,
not until Mom picks you up.
So, even if you're scared,
you put those headphones back on
and you work on your math.
Fear never aids you in your quest for the unit rate.
You finish up, have a snack.
Play on your phone.
You chat with Mom,
she's on her way home.
You know that Dad is perfectly fine.
But that word packs such a fearful punch, with its shroud of blood and sickness and tragedy.
To you, anyway.
You put on a sweater and go outside in the cold, lonely night to wait for the car and talk to Evan.
You talk about burning flags and the stupidity of Americans.
When she arrives in her white Subaru Crosstrek, you grab your sketchbook real quick and leave.
Dad seems OK to you.
He laughs, and everyone talks.
He gets moved to a better room
and he gets all set up,
he's only gonna stay a night.
His nurse is named Ashley.
She wears an owl pin and comfy-looking shoes
with her uniform.
You're not scared any more.
Maybe a little uncomfortable, though,
as you absently move around the hospital room
that could be a hotel room
if you took away the machines.
When you go home, you stomp and yell
and make echoes in the parking garage.
You sit in the car and listen to music.
Mom's new car will read her texts aloud,
so you laugh as the computer lady
but mangles 'Mukilteo.'
Passing by fast food places on the way home,
you feel a little bitter.
You're not hungry.
But all you had for dinner was a protein bar on the way home,
and your dad's spending the night in a hospital.
The least you deserve is some chicken nuggets.