In the hospital waiting room
we weren't sure
what we were waiting for
but the lady said
we would have to wait outside.

In the white corridor
there were numbers
offering Help Here!
and 24 Hour Support!
with the numbers pasted
vertically at the bottom
and most of them already missing.

For the third time in a year
the bruises were purple and black and blue
the eyes were red and pulpy
the teeth had been knocked loose
and it was clear
what had happened
even though
she would only say

I fell down the stairs,
I'm just such a klutz.

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