Solidarity

I wash my hands
and follow rainbows
along familiar corridors,
past long-studied pictures.
I know them all.

I find a seat, but it is
too wide and too deep
and my feet dangle
awkwardly above the floor,
like a child’s.

I wait in silence,
my friend cannot hold my hand today.
The only other person is two metres away,
her head is down, full of the words she has just heard
and cannot yet process.

We don’t see the faces of the nurses now,
only their eyes that reach out to us
behind a plastic screen.
I watch them and I wait
to hear them call my name.