And She Doesn’t Even Know


The informant, the translator, the assistant nurse,

her security, her mommy.


Letter, list of medicine, date of last tetanus vaccination, blood group.

Pajamas, pink cuddle teddy, extra nappies – packed.

Black suitcase on wheels.


Name, barcode, pass word, signature, identification armband.

Up with the stairs, follow yellow arrows past the library near the chapel, to the lifts and up to the fourth floor and report to gynaecology.


And now it is so far…

Twenty years later.

Room 4001.

No babies, no grand children one day.

Single room ‘wegens medische redenen’. Extra bed in the cupboard.

And she doesn’t even know.


en-suite, oxygen mask, comfortable chair on wheels, hand wash gel, television,

rubber gloves – small-medium-large, telephone, hanger for 4 infusion bags,

internet connection, bed on wheels, dresser, disposable kidney bowls and nappies in dresser, table and chairs, extra bright lights, intercom, enough wall sockets, red emergency button.

Catholic cross above the heavy, wide door.

He is here.


Sister explains the stay, the caring and if I would like to eat with.

Surgeon explains about clean intestines, three or four cuts, stay until Tuesday.

I explain about doing everything quickly, high pain tolerance, accompany to the theatre.

She stands, smiles, gestures with the hand whiile talking about Bella, the dog.

And she does not even know.


It was night and it was morning.


No buffet breakfast, no water.

White cap, white stiff socks, white oversized dress.

Straight-backed on her bed-taxi down the isle where everyone wears green, even me.

And she does not even know.


Straight-backed on her bed-taxi.

We wait.

She looks, talks, gestures with the hand.

And look towards tomorrow, next week, next year…

And holds the little hand.

Oh Lord, is this it?

You’ve made, we decided and they will take…

Straight-backed on her bed-taxi.


Case two on the day list.



41 Hospital Street, Arcadia, 0083
PO BOX 40526, Arcadia, 0007
012 325 3920
084 383 9417

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