Day of Surgery Lounge
by Larry Johnson

No laughtrack here
the gut-busting, chest-cracking
joke's on you at 6:24 a.m.
waiting, in iron chairs, little stuttering
boy in too-loud voice:
"He. Hee. He. Heee. Got
runned over by a tractor." Father
may or may not be dead. Man
from Congo speaking French to wife
behind curtain, snores later
like industrial monster. Nurse pulls
plunger on clot sprays blood
around room like a fake gusher
all over wife, daughter, the
girl appalled, the woman
just smiling. On the other side
of this joined room, Congolese woman
trapped screaming
"Jesus! Mon Dieu!! doctor speaking
bad French is yanking
her stitches.

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