When I reflect back, it is as if a single conversation triggered my life’s journey, the twists and turns it took brought me to this exact moment.

In the late eighties I worked as a nurse at Bellevue Hospital Center. One day, when I was the triage nurse, a rather handsome looking fellow came in. I still remember that he was in great physical shape and did not appear to be someone who needed attention in the Emergency Room. Being a nurse, facing death was not a new experience.  However, the tragedy of it never gets old.  As this handsome fellow conversed with me, I learn that he had just been released from prison. While he was in prison, he was diagnosed with the AIDS virus.

I think I saw the fear of death in his desperate eyes. Perhaps, it was that fear that brought him straight to the Emergency Room upon his release from prison. I put down my pen. I tried my utmost best to gather myself and to convey some encouraging words to diffuse the heaviness surrounding us. I felt it necessary to lift him up out of his despair and to give him a message of hope. With that I told him that, he could make something of his life, as long as he was alive and not to let this malady define his entire life. His response immediately halted the conversation, and he withdrew from it; his final remark shook me. He said that it was easy for me to sit on my chair and say all those things.

The journey that led me to that chair was fraught with many pains and silent struggles, yet I genuinely believed everything I expressed to him. I hadn’t fully processed everything that had happened in my life, which might explain why I stayed optimistic. However, now that I have thoroughly reflected on my life’s journey and mourned certain parts of it, I find myself back to the same conclusion: I would repeat the same words to him today that I did thirty years ago. 

My poetry collections reflect my life experiences, contemplations, sorrows, and realizations. My ultimate conclusion in, “The Cry of Our Children,” is that we must exhibit greater concern and compassion towards one another.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *