A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2009, vol 5 no 1

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Jerry Gill


On a cold November morning in the year of the Lord 2008, I stand in front of the hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey, where I was born sixty-eight years, two months, and six days ago—the "Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital." The mighty structure is now gutted and empty and many of the windows are broken or gone. The three arched entryways are cemented closed. A high, wire-topped fence with a locked gate encloses the entire place. It is very silent and dark.

On which of those seven floors, and in which one of those many rooms, I wonder, did my wonderful, lovely, young mom bring me into this world...?

I take six or seven pictures in both color and black-and-white, gaze tearfully at the old building a few moments longer, and leave.

We come into this world in only one spot in this entire, incalculably vast, universe. The "Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital" in Jersey City, New Jersey, is my spot. I'm privileged to be here. I know I'll never come here again.

dead leaves dropping
one by one

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