The Waiting Room

The voices of the visitors
would drop when they entered
the almost empty anteroom
and stood before the blond wood door
of her positive pressure room.

The air could exit but could not
bring more bad bugs into her lungs
immuno-compromised by stays
in this or other hospitals.

Her breathing stopped on the 4th night
as cancer squeezed another last
breath from exhausted failing lungs.
The empty room keeps breathing out.

[Abigail A. Salyers, 12/24/42–11/6/13, received a Ph. D. in nuclear physics from George Washington University, later did Post-Doctoral studies in Microbiology in Virginia & was the first female tenured Professor in the microbiology department at the Univ. of Illinois. She was elected President of the 40,000 member American Society for Microbiology for 2001-2. She was the author of several books & hundreds of professional articles in her field.]

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, November 7, 2013