Life Cycles

On the seventh floor
All is quiet anticipation,
Waiting for that final breath—
That grand departure
From which there is no

Ironically, the sixth floor
Anticipates the first breath,
The rail against the push
From the comforting chamber
Into realities not yet

Below, the fifth floor
Echoes with the groans of
Pain and palpable fear
Where there are more questions
Than answers—will I/he/she
Be all right?

On the next lower floor
The whir and hum of the
Machines of diagnosis wail
A mournful dirge of hope
And ultimate

Floors three and two
Fill the atmosphere with
Combinations of suffering
And impatience—
Like inmates waiting for
The parole board.

Throughout this rabbit warren
Of hallways, rooms, and stations
Run the pulse of lively uniforms
That denote rank by the cut
And color of each one,
Milling from one place to another.

On the ground floor
The revolving doorway ingests
Visitors and deliverers as
It expels others with blank
Stares of hope they never
Have to return.

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