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A place where strangers 

Are carried by hands 

Outstretched for another


A place where healing is sought, 

Refuge amidst uncertainty 


Where final breaths are inhaled and exhaled 

On terms established beyond understanding

Joy and sorrow too familiar to one another


Where people are too often known by

Room numbers and diagnoses

Instead of hopes and dreams

And everything in between that goes

Left unsaid behind the curtain


In the building over, a mother gives birth

To her first child, family gathered around the bed

Catching their first glimpses of a newborn babe


Nearby, a mother says goodbye to her own.

A grandchild stands at the door, looking in,

Witnessing his mother’s hand holding his grandmother’s

For what may be the last time


Here our stories intertwine

If only for a snapshot, a moment in time

Our paths cross

In providence, we meet and bid farewell, 

We linger at the threshold, meet in the waiting room

Exchange handshakes and brief introductions

Waiting for our names to be called

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