I am Mrs. Jones, call me Janet.
I’m a high school teacher.
Or at least I was.
Now I’m retired.
I am a mother, almost a grandmother!
I am a diabetic;
I am a patient of Dr. Smith,
but she’s on vacation;
I’m not sure whose patient I am now.
I guess I’m just The Patient in Bed B.


This is a hospital, I forget its name,
The one in the next neighborhood,
The one where my Uncle Bob died.
I’m in room 419.
It’s just across the street from the old paper mill,
The one that burned down a while back.
Now it’s a park, I think.
The name of the street is…um, Polk?
Or is it Taylor?
The city?  Why, Chicago, of course.
Or have we crossed the line, into the suburbs?


Today is Thursday.
No, Friday?
Let’s see, I cam in on Monday night.
But it was late, maybe after midnight.
I guess it could have been Tuesday.
My nurse yesterday was Sue, before that was Jane.
They all work 8 hour shifts,
Except for Tina, she does 12.
Tonight Mary’s on, or will that be tomorrow?
The shifts all run together.
Check your temp, rate, pressure.
Take your meds.
Change your sheets.
Oh, here’s the newspaper, its says Friday.
But I thought my son brought it in yesterday.
Maybe it’s from last week?
The days are all the same.

Catherine Zeh, Chicago, Class of 2002