The Night Nurse
No glowing call lights in the dim corridor.
At the station, she hears heartbeats
in every dark room, a symphony of
bips, beeps, and a soft fluorescent buzz above.
From the last bed, a medicated dream voice
whispers, “Do you have to go now? Please stay.”
She refiles, restocks, reviews.
A minute takes an hour.
The night doesn’t end for
the only waking person in a world of black;
even her dog at home alone, waiting for her,
sleeps under the kitchen table, in moonlight.
After bed check, she pauses by
the glass at the end of the hall,
peeks through window blinds, looks out
past the sodium glow of the empty lot and
watches a figure walk into the forest beyond.

©Jeff Fiorito 2008