HOSPITAL BABY | Anne Merritt


When my arms release him,

a bulbous head totters.

His plump neck creases

beneath its weight.


I smile.

A miniature finger slips from mine.

His mouth a thin, static line –

pale rose petal against bone china.


As metal bars rise between us,

lips quiver momentarily –

then he is still.


Two chestnut orbs

wander aimlessly to the window

but not beyond –

collapsed from retinal hemorrhages,

his gaze freezes at the glass.


I whisper his name.

His eyes –

desiccated, stinging –

do not blink.


He is silent, resolute.

A statue in his crib.

Anne Merritt is a physician writer. She has authored scientific research, a historical essay, and personal narratives in addition to her poetry. She currently practices emergency medicine at Stanford University. She seeks to bring transparency to the world of medicine through her work.