Grip your plastic mini-bin of tic tacs—all yours—
as she finishes class down the hall. Avoid eye contact
with the snack bar clerk up front, shrink
into the corner behind your coloring. Disappear
in the nurses’ lounge hours past shift change,
the attending complains about employee kids. Move
your vigil to the waiting room, grab a seat
that creaks and rocks six others. No one’s dying,
you all can wait. In high school, finish homework
in the back bedroom away from windows,
the #46 will arrive soon. Turn off Scooby Doo
thirty minutes early, let the TV feel cool to her touch.
Watch her change your IV as you hit transition. Focus
on her as they thread your epidural. Watch her stroke
the arms and spread the toes of your small son,
let her bathe him first.
Jennifer Dracos-Tice is a high school teacher and writer who lives in Atlanta with her wife and kids. She has published poetry in Something’s Brewing, an anthology from Kind of a Hurricane Press. She is also the recipient of the 2012 Poetry Prize from the Atlanta Writers Club. Jen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.