Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2007, vol 5 no 2


Letter to a Kidney Donor's Mother
hortensia anderson


It was, no doubt, one of the worst nights of your life – the 10 PM rush to the hospital, a stranger holding your hands telling you of a car crash, a brain death, your child's name, a gentle request to have his organs. On December 8, 1992, at 2 AM, your nine-year-old son's right kidney had been sewn into my abdomen.

I want you to know I named the kidney "Max", how I had a special pillow to protect him, how I endured such pain because I had been entrusted with a gift – and a sacred bond had been born between us. Yet finally, the following August, I felt a part of your son, a part you once carried also, die.

star-filled sky
our different wishes
become the same

hortensia anderson is the author of numerous chapbooks as well as a volume of poetry, TRUST (fly-by night press, 1995). Her second volume of poetry, NOTHING BUT HEAT, is due out Winter 2006. Her current passion is renga and other forms of collaborative poetry.

She lives precariously on dialysis on the lower east side of NYC.