Hospital Lunch, Tuesday Coffee Group

by Carolyn Scarbrough

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Hospital Lunch

There are things I cannot speak
at dinner parties or
girls’ night out
or that appalled silence comes
that censors everyday evil
and tragedy.
But around this table of nurses,
here, among recipes and vacations,
divorce and children, Missy says
the man who killed the baby in bed eight
was arrested.
We’re eating Susan’s Seven-Can-Soup.
We each brought a can of something,
dumped it into the crock-pot this morning
and now, halfway through
our hectic day, we quickly
get the meal down.


Tuesday Coffee Group

The day’s small allotment of light
abides in this dreary mist, each droplet
a refuge of sorts. Inside the shop
we gather and laugh too loud,  and enter
each other’s stories and retreat from them
until it’s time to step out, back
into the day’s drizzle again,
this fine mist-one molecule bound to
the next until there’s this low-lying cloud
over the entire parking lot
and we move through it with ease.



Carolyn Scarbrough has published in Gulf Coast, Poet Lore, Sundog, Tar River Poetry, Conduit, Connecticut River Review, High Desert Journal,   Minnesota Review, and The Southeast Review. She has an MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars, works as a pediatric ICU nurse, and is the mom to five kids, two dogs and the cat. Basically, she says, she writes despite all the reasons to not write, much like a willful child!

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