My beautiful niece, Julie, had an assignment in her college writing class this Spring to write a poem. This is her amazing work. If they give grades based on tears produced, then this is definitely A+ material! Thank you, Jules!
by Julie Warnes
It is supposed to beat 90 times a minute
In a five-year-old child
Pulsing blood throughout his body.
The heart is vulnerable.
They thought Spencer had the flu.
Now in heart failure
With no known cause.
Each day is a miracle,
A wrinkle of hope.
Our hearts search for answers.
Coded in OR
They shocked him back to life.
He now wears a Berlin heart.
It circulates the blood without a pulse.
He calls it his "heart helper."
His small body
Limp in the oversized hospital bed.
Wires of red, blue, yellow, and white
Run out from under his rainbow-quilted blanket
Attached to beeping and blinking monitors.
My heart sinks.
Nancy, his mother, is so strong.
She stays by his side -
Next to her a bookcase filled
With tractors and toy dinosaurs.
She tells of Spencer's failing kidneys and blood tests.
I can't even begin to understand
A mother's heartbreak.
Three grueling months go by
And Christmas comes early.
My father texts:
"Spencer will receive heart transplant today."
I impatiently await the updates.
"Surgeon is flying to procure the heart."
"Plane landed about twenty minutes ago."
"They have removed his old heart
and are now sewing in the new."
"Dr. Kaza said that the heart is perfect."
Twelve hours pass and
A new heart begins to beat.
New Year's Day, he's home.
He stands in the driveway and
Waves at our family.
Nothing about him looks different,
But something around us is.
We smile at each other
With tears in our eyes.
Our hearts begin to heal.