Tigers In Cribs

                                                In the hallways

                                                People laugh

                                                Sometimes loudly

                                                As they pass

                                                The the rooms

                                                Where people cry

                                                Always quietly

                                                As they wait

                                                Behind gray walls

                                                And in shadows

                                                On floors that bleed

                                                Have bled

                                                And wait to be scrubbed

                                                She fights, claws

                                                At a hostile place

                                                All 18 inches of her

                                                4 pounds 7 ounces

                                                Until they have to tape her

                                                Little arms to the bed

                                                Eyes tightly clenched

                                                Against the harsh lights

                                                She was not ready to see

                                                Her tiny chest heaves

                                                Against a world

                                                Without enough air

                                                Maybe they say


                                                48 hours and we’ll know

                                                I wish I could make up a God

                                                To pray to

                                                                        Michael F. Mathews

                                                                        Humana Women’s Hospital

                                                                        Tampa, Florida

                                                                        In the lobby by the Stork Phone

                                                                        Jan. 30, 1989  ~Noon