I stand quietly outside the patient room,
The room in which currently sit
A young couple
And their eight-month-old daughter,
Whose new cancer diagnosis
In the printed lab results
Clutched in my trembling hands.
I glance at my watch:
It’s now officially Christmas.
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Plays faintly from a nurse’s computer.
In the moment it takes me
To open the room door,
Kids are already unwrapping presents
Just a few time zones away.
There’s a fucking nativity scene
On the front lawn of the hospital,
I’m telling a mother and a father,
“Her lab results came back…”