Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Scenes from the Pediatric ER

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for Christian Bryce

Drip, drip.
Glucose drip, saline drip,
minutes drip, drip, drip
as you sleep
linked by a long looping line
leading from your small blue vein
to my heart.

ii.

You will not entertain the possibility
that you are small
and there are ladders you cannot climb.
So here we sit, waiting
for x-rays to develop.

iii.

Fever
of unknown origin.

iv.

The cut's edges are clean enough
for surgical glue and butterfly strips.
I can almost smile at this,
because when you were born
I called you the Butterfly King.
Butterfly strips for the Butterfly King.
There will be a faint scar.
It is where the butterfly kissed you,
I will tell you one day.

v.

Toboggans
are not meant to be ridden
head first.

vi.

This is what it is, then, to be your mother.
Cut open like a watermelon,
exposed flesh waiting
for the knife to slip.


Jennifer Saunders’ work has appeared online in BluePrintReview, Literary Bohemian, Shot Glass Journal, and elsewhere and is forthcoming in Blast Furnace, Ibbetson Street Magazine, and the anthology Classifieds: An Anthology of Prose Poems. She lives in Switzerland with her Swiss husband and their two hockey-playing Swiss-American boys. When she’s not writing poems or playing hockey in the driveway, she blogs at Magpie Days .


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Beautiful poem - there's nothing like sitting bedside in PICU, NICU, or the ER with a kid.
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