At the Cancer Clinic
She is being helped toward the open door
that leads to the examining rooms
by two young women I take to be her sisters.
Each bends to the weight of an arm
and steps with the straight, tough bearing
of courage. At what must seem to be
a great distance, a nurse holds the door,
smiling and calling encouragement.
How patient she is in the crisp white sails
of her clothes. The sick woman
peers from under her funny knit cap
to watch each foot swing scuffing forward
and take its turn under her weight.
There is no restlessness or impatience
or anger anywhere in sight. Grace
fills the clean mold of this moment
and all the shuffling magazines grow still.
Ted Kooser (1939–)
Ted Kooser is the current US Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (that's the official title, believe it or not). I heard him interviewed on the Diane Rehm Show yesterday and decided to feature one of his poems here today. You can find more of his poems at poets.org.