by Andrew Silverman, MSII
"It's not going to hurt."
That's what they tell me.
I'm a little scared.
But Mom and Dad smile.
And the lady in the white coat smiles.
Her voice is sweet and friendly.
She shows me a treasure chest filled with little toys.
They call to me, tugging on my sleeve.
I can pick one if I'm good. Maybe two.
They said it's not going to hurt.
And those toys look really cool.
White coats, unblinking lights, a blanket of stillness.
I feel like I'm locked in iron cuffs.
Though I cry out in fear and desperation
Silence presses down on me like a thousand pound weight.
I hunger for human contact.
But I'm trapped in isolation.
A prisoner of my own body.
I'm not just an object lying on a bed.
I'm alive in here.
Supplemental Note: The author indicates he was drawn to the relationship between these two poems because they represent two very different perspectives on the experience of healthcare.