ELEVATOR (a poem)

PART OF THE THIS IS THE MOMENT SERIES

O’Neill, Nina; Group of Figures; Northern Ireland Civil Service; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/group-of-figures-228226

  

Sitting in the waiting area of Cancérologie

on the 15th floor of the CHUM.

In walks a sixty-something year old man,

here for chemo.

He is dressed in black,

standing behind and

pushing his own wheelchair.

He is greeted by the nurse who

screens us as we arrive.

On the 15th Floor, you

cannot rise any higher–which

I prefer

to thinking that from here, there’s

only DOWN.

When he’s done answering the COVID-19 questionnaire

—probably for the 100th time—

and prepares to push on,

he thinks to say to the nurse:

“Bonne journée à vous et merci de votre travail, hein.”

I love people.
I have hope.

[Note: CHUM is an acronym for “Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal–a blessed place]

ADDENDUM:
I found this gorgeous essay/poem by Margaret Atwood in this morning’s Guardian. Enjoy.