the healing muse

Volume 9, 2009

Things My Daughter Lost in Hospitals

Toni L. Wilkes

One million twenty-seven strands of hair.
A smooth scalp. Several inches of frontal bone.

A Tiffany bracelet. Thirty-nine liters of urine.
The call button. Her patience. A pear-shaped

Gallbladder. Her husband’s patience. Eight pints
of blood. Numerous stainless steel staples.

Her job. One decaliter of cerebral spinal fluid.
Two blue and white hospital gowns. Her pink

sweater. The ability to have more children.
Twenty-two pieces of Big Red chewing gum.

Forty-one days of consciousness. Names
of night nurses. Names of day nurses. Six

Actiq lollypops. Seven neurosurgeons.
Two hundred eighteen sutures. Her daughter’s

sixth birthday. The desire for sex. Three yellow
bedpans. Her blood-brain barrier. Five years.

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 9, 2009.

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