Poem: Getting to Know You

The Backstory

My little sister Jenni was pregnant. For the baby shower, we were all told to bring a favorite children’s book and write a personalized inscription on the inside cover.

Awesome idea!

I thought it might be fun to write a snappy little limerick. Something fun and different. So I got to work.

As it turns out, I am not good at limericks.

I struggled. I flailed around. I started multiple limericks, scratched them out, tried again. I worked for days, trying to come up with one single halfway decent limerick, and only succeeded in filling up sheets of paper with garbage.

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A Party for Jack

Jack was a big guy. He was big-boned, with a big belly and a big laugh.

He had come into the hospital with abdominal pain from badly inflamed intestines. So badly inflamed, in fact, that he’d had to have a bunch of his intestines removed. Like, half his colon. A hemi-colectomy is a big surgery. But he was going to be fine.

His wife and his brother sat at his bedside. “I don’t have a colon like you guys anymore,” he joked to them, eyes twinkling. “I have a semi-colon.”

“It’s okay to have a semi-colon, Jack,” his brother quipped back. “As long as you don’t have a period!”

That was Jack and his family. A bunch of jokesters.

Jack wasn’t laughing for long, though. He ended up with a complication, an ileus. His remaining intestines went to sleep, temporarily stopped functioning. His big belly swelled larger. We had to put a tube down his nose, into his stomach, and attach the tube to wall suction, to decompress his abdomen. And just wait helplessly for his intestines to wake back up.

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