by | Dec 15, 2023 | Poetry

A doctor in blue scrubs and blue gloves holding a silver metal piece of medical equipment.

When I leaned over the side of my bed,
they were standing in a field of poppies,
nurses in blue scrubs, doctors in green.
Their hands were wedged under my body
hemorrhaging. Something blue and plastic
jabbed in my arm, the baby blanketed
away. Sign here, said a doctor, handing
my husband a pen. Then wheeled me
through a cold, white forest of clear vines.
A voice near my head insisted I do things
I could not. In recovery, a morning show
blared, celebrity chef deboning a chicken.
Stabbed through, I demanded my newborn
back to me. Open your eyes, the voice said.
Nurses skating by on slippered feet.
My body a fixture among silver machines—
the sheets magically clean.

Photo used and adapted under Public Domain.

About The Author


Dara-Lyn Shrager lives in Princeton, New Jersey and is the co-founder and editor of Radar Poetry. Her poetry collection Whiskey, X-Ray, Yankee was published by Barrow Street Press in 2018, after being named a finalist for the Barrow Street Poetry Prize. Dara-Lyn holds an MFA from Bennington College and a BA from Smith College. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in many journals, including Crab Creek Review, River Heron Review, Barn Owl Review, The Greensboro Review, Nashville Review, Passages North, Salamander, Southern Humanities Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal and Yemassee. Her articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine and others.