Poem: The Drive-In




The Drive-In

Written June 29, 2017


We were on the way to the
Children’s Hospital
for me to have an operation
that wasn’t serious –
It was not my idea.
I had a crooked foot apparently.
Still it entailed a painful needle
in my thigh to make me fall asleep
and an unpleasant session of
puking after I woke up.

There were two beds in my room.
The girl in the next bed was a soap opera
expert. She summarized them for me
until I was up to speed on a few,
but she was only there one day.

In the hospital I made pottery
in the community room and
talking with the other patients I had met,
I asked about the girl in the room
next to mine who looked older than me,
but the same height.
I wondered why she seemed unusually thin.

They said yes she was thin.
She had been making herself
that way on purpose.

Now they were trying to help her,
feeding her, hoping she would
keep the food down that she ate
but it wasn’t working,
and they didn’t know what to do.

I thought about earlier that day
when we sat in the car
in the parking lot at the Drive-in
at White Spot on Granville.

I was twelve and had
just finished my growth spurt
taking me to my adult height
so I managed to finish off
a burger and milkshake easily.

I remember the sunlight hitting
the dashboard as I ate my fries.
“You’ll probably need a cast on after,”
Dad said. I thought about
strange new places and needles.
Then he said, “There will be kids
in there they are trying to save.”


by Wendy Stewart


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