“The Weight” by Gaetan Sgro

Gaetan Sgro


How much does a hospital weigh
I’ve tried to estimate
Fluorescent tiled corridors, star-crossed
Friends arriving late
Bags of saline, laundry trucks
Arresting lights and spoiling plates
The best laid plans, the bitter ends
Slant rhymes to ease the breaks
I added up the midnights
And multiplied the days
Divided by the setbacks
And factored in the grace
Untied a stack of letters
And checked the book of names
But after all of this accounting
The sum was something out of range
What is it like to feel
The lightening of such weight
For weeks the leaves along the drive
Have scorched the corners of my eyes
Until today I stepped outside and saw
The naked branches dancing
From across the neighbor’s fields
The verse came charging
The hard clay shook

from Rattle #81, Fall 2023


Gaetan Sgro: “I’ve never had much vision when it comes to career planning, arriving late to my medical training with only an English degree and an ear for stories. But the compulsion to write, to engage in this often frustrating, occasionally sublime, and ever-evolving process, has always been with me. It will always be with me because I will never get it right.” (web)

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