PRIEST IN THE TREATMENT ROOM

PRIEST IN THE TREATMENT ROOM
~Suzanne Underwood Rhodes
We were all of us drowsed with potions
in the dying room, the shrill signals
waning as we slipped deeper into our plush
recliners, glad to be sleeping
with disease at bay, to have thoughts
teased from us drip by drip, the faces
of most precious boy or sister dimming
despite the huge, over-bright room
that out of nowhere welcomed
a priest riding on a mobility scooter,
a black-clad Jesus, but one laboring
to breathe as he landed at someone’s chair
and blessed her medication bags hung from hooks,
three bags of poison, blessed
a head bent and scared against his hand,
but oh, you knew he knew what it’s like
to be pitted against those stakes
with all of us, weighted with hope.

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