This is just a reminder that there are better places in the world, and certainly, reasons to live that are far beyond your current surroundings.
To my daughter's doctors dressed like they’re swinging in nightclubs
Perry Ellis Shoes and American Eagle belt buckles
Who tell dirty jokes in the hallway
Whose rap music ringtones can be heard through walls
Who explain nothing to me and sigh when I bother to ask
Who use my 8-year-old as a translator
Who laugh when I want to follow into radiology
Who don’t hold my daughter’s hand when she cries
Who poke and stick and prod without even looking at her
Who get upset when I question their ultra-sounds
Who have never been questioned by a parent with an iPhone.
For you, my daughter's doctors: This is what I think of you.
To my daughter's nurses who scowl at my eyes
Who have not once introduced themselves
Who walk into the room and start sticking with needles
Who have never once told Xian she is being brave
Who never once held her hand when she cried
Who never bothered to even put their hands in comfort on her body
Who enter the room, poke and prod and walk out
Who hide behind white surgical masks
Who roll their eyes when I ask the name of the medicine they are injecting
Who expect my daughter to hit a buzzer when her IV drip runs out instead of checking routinely on rounds
Who spend forty-five minutes trying to find a vein in my daughter’s arm while she screamed bloody murder
Who never once offered her a kind word
Who never once smiled at her
Who told her to stop crying it gives her a headache
Who get upset when I ask to pull the curtain around the bed
Who use the “Asian Woman Baby Voice” when explaining complex medical terms to me.
This is for you, my daughter's nurses: This is what I think of you.
For the screaming baby in the incubator trapped beside me in the public elevator
For the old woman under a sheet left to decay in the hall
For the doctor reeking of cigarette smoke
For the squashed mosquitoes left flattened on the walls
For the un-corked vials of blood left sitting on the counter
For the exposed needle left on the rusted garbage can in the room
For the baby cockroaches roaming across the toilet seat
For the splatter stains left rotting on the floor and walls
For the dried blood spots staining your shoes
For having to push your own IV drip down the hall
For the dust on the vents, and chair backs, and medical equipment left in the room.
This is for you, my daughter's hospital: This is what I think of you.
For the guard at the gate who would not let me enter past 10 o’clock
For the barefoot men sleeping in the waiting room sprawled out on the floor
For the exposed wires and construction saws and drunk waving the nail gun
For the angry-faced admissions clerk who won’t accept my numbered slip
For the disgusting 7-eleven employee who couldn’t add 16 and 37 and when I gave her 60 she looked at me like I was an idiot, and when I handed it back to her she said, “WHAT?” and when I put 20 next to the 16 and 40 next to the 37, she gave me 2 back as change, and when I looked at her and asked for my five she told me to get out
Yes, she told me to get out of 7-eleven.
This is for you, today's working class: This is what you must think of me.