Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The World's Worst Cold

Father, mother, teenage daughter, toddler son.
A normal, happy, family.
The two-year-old caught a common cold,
No big deal.  Chicken soup and Tylenol.
But ten days later he still had a fever 
And his cough was getting worse.
In the waiting room that afternoon, two paths crossed:
Someone's daughter dropped her doll;
Little Boy picked it up for her;
Two-year-old already such a gentleman,
Good job, mom.
But the doll gave the boy whatever the girl had,
And for two days
The kid couldn't keep anything down.
Now it's Sunday and they can't reach their doc;
The kid's still in dry heaves hours later, in the ED.
A white coat comes in to give a standard IV
But the stick misses its mark and nicks an artery.
Try though they might to stop it, he's bleeding out.
Then some poor fool forgot to check the blood type twice
Hell broke loose, then
Two days later, the mom buried her baby.
Empty eyes, mirroring the void inside,
Barely see the coffin disappear.
Mom goes upstairs "to be alone;"
Minutes later, she rejoins her son,
Her life snuffed out with father's gun
The very day the daughter turned fifteen.
Some dozen years have passed.  Today, I met the daughter
In the psych ward, her home since that day,
And her empty eyes told me how a bunch of white coats
Helped a kid's cold kill his whole family.

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