Wednesday, May 30, 2018


The New Normal

My seven year old
Politely asked the nurse
Could she please get the freeze spray first?

The IV is the worst part

At the start he
was too sick to care
That minor stick only a thousandth of the pain in his small body

I thought I would watch him die
He was dying
White cell count elevated
Anemic. Blood transfusions needed
He had stopped talking

I lie on his stick legs in the
Metal hospital crib
As they fed the tube up his nose
On the day when he could no longer say my name

When the doctor came
With hope in the form of difficult choices
He said
“This will be his normal.
He is only three.  He will not remember a time before.”

And that was odd and at the same time

It was also true.

And though I carried him back for the first treatments
Yesterday he walked beside me
chattering all the way

I have taken him to every single treatment.
I taught him to look away and to breathe slowly
When the IV had to go in.

There is no choice.

It has to be done.
Every eight weeks
The IV must go in.
This is the new normal for us.

Once, the hospital messed up and
sent me the bill staggering in the thousands for just one visit
For a fix that makes him well
and an artist, a good student, my living child.
His bill is covered because what
he has is a disability

It is the difference between
Living and Dying.
It has to happen.
The IV has to go in.

But the new national normal
Would change all of this

One of my senators called kids like him
“Burned out buildings”
Not worth the renovation
Not worth spending on
So I called and I wrote and I tweeted and I emailed and I signed all the petitions.
And I begged people I knew and didn’t know to do the same.

My own cousin wrote
“Trump will make America great again. Wait and see.”

And her sister wrote
“Why are you always so angry?”

Because this is the new normal.

And yesterday
He asked by himself for something
To help erase the last
Of the pain that stands between him and eight weeks
of wellness.

And every day I will check the news to see if it will be a day
That I can breathe a little
Or a day where I will fight on

Because this is the new normal.

~MG Gainer 5/18/18

MG Gainer:  English Professional for hire (Editing, Social Media, Instructor); proud WV native, so keep your jokes to yourself. Pronouns: She/her

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