Poetry | Nursing the Same Wound by Chris Salib
Fighting had left all the trees around the square
And the long avenue withering beside the road, bare and white
except for the leaves that
R. was picking while laughing with the other nurse,
something about savoring the
End, because we were bombarded and yet not destroyed.
We went through the trenches in the smashed-down town at the
End of that summer, walking through the cool nights, listening to the lull of fighting
in the mountains beyond town.
Lord! there was still some good hunting, shot after shot ringing, the echoes
of howls that would soon become
Lunch. Sometimes all the niceness had gone from the peoples’ faces, they were forced
To find some work because there’s no work now. Every morning,
the sun refused to enter my room.
Out of my hospital bed I would slough off and go to the window and look out
Across the river and the plain to the mountains,
Rattan sticks covering the fields like broken toy rifles of children who’ve had too
Much wine and always coffee afterwards to keep it going. Well, that was the
Sort down here. They finally sent me a little stick,
I used it to poke through the garbage on my afternoon walks.
Chris Salib is a graduate of the Narrative Medicine program and is in pursuit of a career in medicine.