Thursday, July 28, 2011

Positive Negative

Edvard Munch, The sick child 1896
Once, on his way to the plant, Papa brought gladioli, and always a honey on white, a summer sausage on rye, because she was on strike against the hospital food and its strange gravies. The biggest plus was him explaining about the negative numbers. Subtract two from two, that’s zero. Two from zero? Huh.
     She came out at 48 pounds. That made her . . . 12 below when she’d gone in. Yup, cold weather. She bragged that her 105 had been the highest-ever temperature in the entire house. Somehow Papa snapped right then: what did she think the oven dial numbers meant? Huh.

Image: Buergertum


  1. Kathy Bischoping perfectly captures a father's concern for his sick daughter. We snap because we care.

  2. This is really beautiful. I got to see the Munch when there was the big show in NY. It is lovely too. K.

  3. I know that feeling the father had, the moment he snapped. I think it would be difficult for anyone who has not cared for someone (as a parent or caregiver) to understand the fury and frustration in the relief something is over only to fear it isn't taken seriously. My children hate my concern at any fall or injury (the wrestle, so this happens with some frequency). I know they'll understand later, but this poem captures it perfectly.

    I liked your reading on that one word "even" in my tanka. You caught something I hadn't even consciously intended. As far as making you want your own cup of tea, I went right over and brewed a pot when I finished writing. Power of suggestion, eh? Thank you for visiting and sharing a cup.

  4. I love this unique approach here... such a true sentiment on a parent's concern for their child. My daughter was once in the hospital with pneumonia on Christmas. It was a very difficult time for us.

  5. Awwww, complex, sad, lovely writing .

  6. My little one is ill today. Concern for a child goes in many strange directions. -Q

  7. I like the tangential style of this that makes it seem as if the child is speaking within a fever. YOu've mad a simple story of a sick child interesting and mysterious even to those without that experience.

  8. Parents concern, Heavy subject to write about. You've done a good work here. I felt it, and your writing is really impressing.



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