the man on crutches,
leg muscles ripped pushing a heavy load—
the woman, teeth clenched,
hand curling & twitching, too many hours
the grandfather, wrist bound into a stump
where his hand once was—
the woman, barely more than a girl,
her foot a gauze ball, flesh pierced
a week before by a punching ram—
all look up
as a dust-covered boy in hard hat comes in
wringing his hands,
his arm & groaning, blood spraying out
across the floor—
the nurses meet him there & usher him quickly
to a room where the doctor’s waiting.
here comes the janitor with his mop.
someone sighs. their eyes follow the mop.