In the middle of Target is not the sort of place
I would expect to receive bad news.
The extra twenty dollars I saved by finding
my coveted piece of cookware there instead of
at Macy’s thirty minutes ago seemed somewhat
trite by comparison, and I did what I could to
smile and talk about the weekend weather instead.
It wasn’t as if I hadn’t lost patients before,
hadn’t watched a soul depart or told a family,
“I’m sorry,” in that hesitant, sonorous tone.
So I wasn’t sure why hearing about this one
felt so different and filled me with such disbelief,
as if someone had used my new roasting pan
to beat me in the face and then catch the
dripping blood from my nose while telling me it
wasn’t actually anodized aluminum,
wasn’t even worth the forty‐two dollars
and eighty‐nine cents I paid for it
with the money I earned while thinking I saved
a certain patient’s life.