by Daniel Peterson


A flower, a nurse, a mother, a calling,
beside me, before you, becoming a servant,
sees plastic, sees pain, sees pressure sedated,
defies, defines an
ego, elated,


Bridgeport rises, like any New England town,
all brick and cobblestoned,
a hubric cube, Connecticut knave,
kisses the coast
and casts it away.


Can you make an ocean out of your sounds?
Are you picking words out from in between
parted fingertips,
parted lips,
and making thoughts
out of these mixed metaphor cocktails?


Didn't notice the daily vegetation --
as she sits and unwatches,
clutches and unclutches the USA
Today, and I read between
the fine, wrinkled frown lines,
how her fine, frazzled hair pines,
(or does it?) for release.


Every boxlike studio
becomes a Peter Pan reality
when the lights come up --
something like looking down at rooftops,
above a shrinking skyline,
and not knowing whether I'm an observer
or an actor in this scene.


Fractal curves, fractal calligraphy,
brush strokes bending into squares,
spiraling squares skyward,
choking out the sun,
block to block, borough to borough,
home to home,
skin to bone.


Author's Note: The title, AbCdEf, comes from the name of a business trip I just went on called ACE, which stands for the Associate Client Experience. (I just threw in the b, d and f for good measure.)

On these trips, we get to go and spend about five days at a hospital that is just converting to use my company's information system. We are pretty much there for them 24 hours a day to answer any questions that may come up with the new computer system. I got the midnight to 8am shift, so I had a lot of time to think.

The six stanzas represent six distinct images I had in my mind after returning from the trip...

The first is about a nurse name Lilian, that I worked with a lot. She has been a nurse for 35 years, and was no friend to new technology.

The second is about standing at a window in the hospital and watching the sunrise on this sleepy Connecticut town of Bridgeport.

The thrid is about one of the patients from the psych ward, who would roam around the floor throughout the night, requesting different medications to quell his anxiety or depression.

The fourth is about the many geriatric patients that I saw, who were almost unresponsive to the outside world, but every now and then you would see an outward sign to let you know that there was still something going on in their minds.

The fifth is about the sort of surreal experience of getting to see a taping of the Letterman show, something I had always wanted to do.

The last one is just about the feelings I got walking around midtown Manhattan, surrounded by some beautiful architecture... humbling and breathtaking.

What a trip!

Posted on 04/13/2005
Copyright © 2024 Daniel Peterson

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