Health Risks This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 30, 2010
A white hospital band
strapped across my wrist
informs curious residents
of my reason for being here.

As my head pounds
I grip the unfamiliar bed
with diminished strength
and fading faith.

The nurse tells me not to worry
as she removes the IV from my arm.
Slowly she forces my fragile form
up from the bed and into a wheelchair.

Moving through a labyrinth of hallways,
like a mouse going through a maze,
we arrive at a door I hadn't seen before.
The nurse gives me an odd look as we enter.

I awake back in my hospital bed.
Sore and confused as I look around
being greeted by friends and family,
all with the same cheerful grin.

Weakly I think to myself
about why they smile,
when I am in such bad shape.
Unless something has changed.

My thoughts are soothed
by the nurse's pleasant confirmation
that things will be all right,
and I just need to rest.

A strange feeling comes over me
as I recall warnings from previous days
like how the surgery
might not be enough.

“It's a risky procedure,”
the doctors said.
“We can't promise things will work out.”
But I'm still here.

It is now that I realize,
the line between miracles and tragedies
is just as thin
as the band around my wrist.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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