By: Zac Kline
We say to children: Don’t do that or you’re going to get hurt. If you get hurt, you’ll have to
go to the hospital. You don’t want to go to the hospital. Mommy and Daddy can’t come with you inside
the hospital. You’ll be all alone. We tell them there’s a machine that breaks your ears. It makes a
terrible loud noise like breath but not breathing. That in hospital days become weeks, months and
sometimes—they don’t let you ever go home again. I wonder, if
instead children imagine that these places are good places.
With freshly starched cotton white sheets, fluffy new pillows, eggshell coloured walls, nurses in the
cleanest of dresses walking the corridors with sleepy syringes gently humming a distinct yet
indiscernible tune. Doctors with kind word and kinder smiles, a lollipop for the good girls and boys.
Red, while they last. Yellow for the rest.
I wonder then, what else we say that stops the pain for now, and later on makes it so much worse.
Zac Kline is a playwright and poet based in New York, his plays have been produced in New York, London and across the United States. He is in the ongoing advanced poetry workshop at The Writers Studio. www.zackline.net