Hospital Shadows

The long shadows cover everything
not just at dusk or dawn
they are here always
even when noon comes
with its plastic trays
plastic foods
dimming the long hallways
full of closed doors
darkening the corners
of sterile shelves
making the edges seem sharper
more lethal
like the slow drip of poison
into sick bodies.
They linger
in the hollow places
under the nurses' eyes
Those eyes,
always hopeful
mostly kind
never too optimistic
because they've seen so much more
than we have
during our forced stay in purgatory
a purgatory for the living,
for the dying.