Touch: The Journal of Healing



Itinerant Traveler

    by Lavinia Kumar

I sat in another hotel lobby bar

immersed in deep reds, browns, burnt umber.

And flowers – a giant vase of greenhouse lilies,

sharp leaves nearly hunter green in muted light.

In twos, fives, or just-met strangers,

men and women wore the greys and blacks

of fitted business clothes.  No pastel scrubs.

I listened to the everyday talk,

their chatter not of an ICU security guard, 

or a lost visiting card, but about their plane trip,

a choice of gin and tonic, a type of salad

or dressing.  March madness bets.

No-one mentioned urine output, meds,

surgery, X-rays, MRIs.

I opened a familiar hotel room, turned

on a TV not there for the endless boring

hours in the ICU.  A long mirror spoke 

the same plain language as the last –

rolls and wrinkles ready for a shower,

and lit with insistent bright lamps

aided by my working eyes. I knew

he would not see my new dips and waves,

his vision barely there.  But he would hear

history programs or ball games on TV or radio.

And we’d sit on our porch or in a bar

and choose to raise our drinks

to sheer survival.

© 2015  Lavinia Kumar

Lavinia Kumar’s book is The Skin and Under (Word Tech, 2015). Her chapbook is Rivers of Saris (Main Street Rag, 2013).  Her poetry has appeared in several US and UK publications, e.g. Atlanta Review, Colere, Edison Literary Review, Flaneur, Kelsey Review, Orbis, Pedestal, Pemmican, Symmetry Pebbles, Touch, & US1 Worksheets. Her website is

Copyright © 2015

Touch: The Journal of Healing

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