The April evening darkens over Queens.
She’s left the ward. But, as on other days,
She still moves through it. Haunted by the scenes
Of witnessed pain her mind cannot erase.
More than a dozen years she’s lived among
An alien folk. She wonders why she came,
To hear the angry voice: “You don’t belong.
Go home!” It often adds an ugly name.
The words still echo, as in growing light
Through empty streets she makes her steadfast way.
They dimly mutter as she soothes the fright
Of patients half aware of their decay.
“You don’t belong!” No medicines can charm
The putrid wound, no potions can beguile.
Until she feels a flutter on her arm,
Receives the blessing of a grateful smile.