Waiting, Immunocompromised: Two Weeks before the Shutdown
The child’s little head rests on the coats on my lap
The stomach virus his brother kicked in three days
Now at almost a week and with worsening pain.
I see the white strap around his ear and across his cheek
I smooth his blondish hair with my hands
We are in one of the few two-seat chairs so that he can lie still
There are still magazines on the tables.
I try to shrink us up away
From the other seats
From the other sick people
Make us small enough to hide
The TV is on the Hallmark Channel
More people come in:
I’m not wearin’ no mask HAW HAW HAW!
This happens two trump hats in a row
They come back from sign-in with masks.
I want to shout at them:
My son’s mask isn’t to keep you safe
It’s for him
To keep out what he is not able to fight
To keep him alive
I almost lost him once to a disease he was just unlucky enough to have
To a disease that has no cure
Whose treatment weakens as it heals
I will not lose him to your ignorance
I want to walk over to the one who refuses to pull the mask over his nose
And break his snout off
Then wash my hands for twenty minutes, hit the hand sanitizer,
and go back to my seat
to keep waiting.