In the shelter of night, men escort women to the hospital.
Whether it’s on foot, in a cab, their own or a borrowed car.
In the lightfaint corridor of the hospital the man sits down on a bench or in a chair while the orderly takes the woman in to see the doctor.
There the doctor listens to the woman’s words and heartbeat.
Or goes into her and takes a test.
Meanwhile the man sits in the corridor and chats to the night guard.
Sometimes the man and the night guard drink coffee from plastic cups but mostly the man drinks the coffee from the plastic cup alone.
Before daybreak the doors to the examination room open and the man escorts the woman farther down the passages of the hospital.
Vala Thorodds is an Iceland-born poet and publisher. She is founding director of the independent literary press Partus, managing editor of Sine Wave Peak, and co-editor of the poetry journal Pain.
‘come — A Poem for Two Voices (after Paul Verlaine)’, written in collaboration by Thorodds and Richard Scott, appears in Hotel #4.