For Dr S Waite
A glass door separates us.
My teacher stands on the other side
of my apartment, box in hand. She has brought me
fruits, tea for my sore throat, cinnamon rolls
for dessert, oven-baked pasta to last me days.
She has cooked, shopped and driven all the way
to downtown Lincoln, its buildings towering over me,
clamping shut my quiet fears, my sinking heart at night.
She has seen me. She has done all this just for me.
I cannot keep it together; I do not care what I look like.
I stand there and weep like a child. I am a child—
homesick and feverish, weakened by a virus,
struck again by the malady of lonesomeness.
All my needs and longings in this life, and yet,
this is the one thing that breaks me open, touching
something deep, soundless and desperate.
That morning, before she knew what miracle
was coming my way, my mother, an ocean away,
cried on the phone when I told her about my illness:
‘But who will feed you? But who will feed you?’
There I was thinking about my aching limbs,
my anxious heart, this maddening quarantine.
There she was thinking about kindness,
the ancient remedy for a wounded heart.
Subscribe for new writing
Sign up to receive new pieces of writing as soon as they are published as well as information on competitions, creative grants and more.