I made goody bags for the surgeons,
anesthesiologists, the post-op pain
team, brightly colored, festooned with curly ribbons,
stuffed with jams, chocolates, cookies.
I loaded them right onto my husband
on the gurney getting wheeled into surgery
so he looked like a Christmas tree
as he passed through the double glass doors
into that mystery chamber,
sparkly bags piled on his chest,
between his legs, under his arms.
A blatant bribe, a furtive offering
to whatever god was on duty that shift.
Six hours later the lead surgeon emerges
to tell me it went well.
He thinks he got it all.
I hear nothing.
All I see is the brightness in his eyes,
his smile curling his words.
Later he will say,
I’m so sorry, his eyes full of shadow.
Now he walks away, his step light,
his goody bag in his hand.
He turns without stopping,
walking backwards, calls out,
Hey, thanks! holding the glittery bag aloft.
He turns forward as he walks
back through the glass doors, bag
still high in the air.