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IN A HOSPITAL CORRIDOR, by                    
First Line: She was an alien. Her large sloe- black eyes
Last Line: Forgetting all her agony -- she smiled!
Subject(s): Hospitals; Language; U.s. - Immigration And Emigration; Words; Vocabulary

She was an alien. Her large sloe-black eyes
Melted with unshed tears of deep distress.
Hers the dumb herded look such women wear.
Azure and golden skies of Italy
Had lately bent above that olive brow.
She leaned, abject, against a tight-closed door,
As if the pungent ether-drifted air
Had halfway deadened her most poignant pain.
Bewildered, she could only understand
That in the room some grim and hideous thing
Was being done to one she loved -- her Man!
The few words that I knew of her own tongue
Would not avail to quiet or allay
The wildly beating terror of her heart.
Since lately I had known such grief as this
And felt with her the sisterhood of pain,
I pressed her hand, that she might feel not quite
So lonely in that hour of awful dread. --
And then the shawl-wrapped bundle at our feet,
A great cocoon, of gay and motley hue,
Began to wriggle, and split open wide!
Out thrust a small dark head, and then a fist
Waved weakly in the air, adventuring.
"Ah, a bambino!" and I stooped to let
Those wee exploring fingers curl round mine.
Looking at her, "He's such a lovely one!"
And though she could not understand my words,
We had a universal language now.
Forgetting all her agony -- she smiled!

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