Tied by the chronology of shifts,
we walk the halls 1:30 to 10:00.
Miquel, the laundry man, his towering gray
cart; me, with my clipboard of asterisked names.
Each weekday evening, trundling the gray cart
back and forth, Miquel hauls his stacks
of laundry back to the facilities.
We pass, maybe four or five times a shift.
Sometimes I see a bit of him, his arms perhaps,
or a glimpse of his face, fixed forward as he slows
the pace of his downhill cart.
Other times, on the flat, only a cart rolls toward me,
as is steered by the stars, no
human agency needed.
Passing through the hospital at the end
of a shift, I see him through the window,
working his way down the long table
that tonight holds scrubs, the ubiquitous
baby blue of the medical world.
Sorting and folding…sorting
Miquel, like the chaplains,
concentrating on life’s
effects: wear and tear.