On Fridays, I work around the corner from an oncology clinic. On my breaks, I walk past the office to sit by some windows at the end of the hallway. Its waiting room is always full.
This afternoon, as I was passing the door, a woman came out of the office. She was wearing a head scarf and looked pretty tired. I smiled at her and said, "Good afternoon." Her face immediately lit up. She smiled at me and said, "Happy Friday!"
I stopped and smiled back. "You have a great weekend," I said.
She laughed. "Every day is a great day."
I nodded at her. "Yes," I said, "I guess you're right."
She smiled again and turned toward the elevator.
Saint Marty met God today. Her head scarf was beautiful.
At the Cancer Clinic
by: Ted Kooser
She is being helped toward the open door
that leads to the examining rooms
by two young women I take to be her sisters.
Each bends to the weight of an arm
and steps with the straight, tough bearing
of courage. At what must seem to be
a great distance, a nurse holds the door,
smiling and calling encouragement.
How patient she is in the crisp white sails
of her clothes. The sick woman
peers from under her funny knit cap
to watch each foot swing scuffing forward
and take its turn under her weight.
There is no restlessness or impatience
or anger anywhere in sight. Grace
fills the clean mold of this moment
and all the shuffling magazines grow still.