Heroes in the Hallways
Lights down, rooms dark
last rounds for the meds cart.
Mr. Vanderbilt’s up late again.
Waiting up to watch headlines at ten.
He says every time he sees the evening news
he knows he’s not the only one confused.
You pour some ice for Miss Metcalfe
she’s always nice when the she calls the staff.
She says, “Can you fix that blanket for me hon?
I hate to be a bother to anyone.”
You laugh, “That’s my job and you should know.”
She offers you some candy before you go.
There are heroes in these hallways
stories that are never heard
where love is offered up in small ways
and spoken in the simplest words.
Tom Westphall pulls his light
sometimes he calls twenty times a night
You hurry down to check him, just the same
he calls out to you with his daughter’s name.
You take his hand and look him in the eye
He sinks back on the pillow with a sigh.
A photograph by the bed
you almost laugh but you’re quiet instead
Mrs. Nackerbrush with her son
as you stare into those eyes of blue
you realize, for a moment, she could be you.
© Stuart Stotts 1993