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In the dark, everyone is kind. 
Nurse Ho gently taps along my arm, 
looking for a possible vein. People
from all over the world are rushing
to help me. The hospitalist from India 
asks, “Do you know where you are? 
Who’s the president? What month is it?”
These seem like important questions 
but somehow difficult. Impossible.
“Make a fist,” she says, inserting the slow drip. 
My compass needle wobbles, confused.
Do I know where I am? 
Some sort of midpoint. Or not. I loosen my grip.
Strong hands carry me through the dark. 
The journey has already started. 


Richard Cole has published two books of poetry: The Glass Children (Georgia) and Success Stories (Limestone). He is also the author of a memoir, Catholic by Choice (Loyola).

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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