Children’s Hospital – Elise Malecki

Their dad was in a bad frame of mind;
he set the house on fire while they slept.
Over 90% burned,
he lingered a few days.

We take them to the OR every other day
to clean, debride, and graft the burns,
apply the salves and dressings,
then furl them snug in gauze and Ace.

7 yo F, 10% burned: arms and legs.
Dad carried her out first.
She acts like she’s four, wants nothing to do with us.
At times she can laugh and play.

10 yo M, 17% burned: legs and feet.
He cries constantly.
He misses his dad.
Mom doesn’t want to hear it.

13 yo M, 70% burned: hands, arms, feet, legs, back, head.
Mercifully his front is mostly spared.
Dad must have slung him over his shoulder.
It’ll be weeks before we wake him.

1.75 liters of vodka
might get me through the week.