Poetry – "The Board" – #NaPoWriMo Day 4

Day 4:

The Board
by Jennifer Patino
Caring martyrs
carrying trays
of bleeding hearts
and various other parts
necessary to the vitality
of another life
A small slice
or a full incision
Someone has to 
make this decision
There are lives
and deaths on your hands
Jolly judges on
particle board stands
Scalpel smiles,
the kind that cut tension
and diffuse or confuse
when worn while 
delivering bad news
Reach a verdict,
reach for the tissues
Harvest pickers,
doling out life
from a too-long list
“Take a seat while you wait.
We insist.”

Author’s Note: I used the optional prompt from www.napowrimo.net today. An enigma of a poem. Describe something without saying what it is. I’m sure this piece will be interpreted many different ways (and that’s totally fine!) but it is really about the American Board for Transplant Certification (ABTC). I can’t even fathom being a part of a panel of people who decides whether someone is qualified enough to have another chance at life. There just aren’t enough healthy organs to go around. My family is affected by kidney disease. We have had transplant success stories and we’ve also lost members to PKD. There really is no telling how it will affect an individual person because it’s such a tricky illness. I’ll only know what it’s like to be a name on a transplant list. My heart goes out to those suffering while they wait, and to those who have to make decisions like these. This poem is for you.

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