Pink Purple Orange and Blue


December 18, 2020

Pink Purple Orange and Blue

by Hope Sasek
February 27, 2005

Screaming, squalling, red faced

and a fractured clavicle

suctioned and rushed to the NICU,

six pounds, five ounces of new life

measured, named, and cradled in

the warmth of the incubator.  

Twenty-one days later, Hannah came home

in mother’s arms and to sleep on father’s chest;

nursed, nourished, loved, dressed, bathed,

rocked to sleep; she followed voices and

welcomed the world as the world welcomed her.

Hannah had deep blue eyes and a ready smile,

laughed at everyone,

giggled with delight,

held her hands and heart wide open.

Crawled up the stairs and couldn’t get down,

pulled herself up on her toes

couldn’t flatten her feet

had braces on her little legs, wore special shoes,

learned to balance with a walker,

wanted to dress herself, tie her own laces,

and brush her tangled brown hair.

Hannah had surgeries, one and then another,

feet and ankles in casts,

pink, purple, orange, and blue.

“You can pick any color you like,”

said the casting tech. Hannah warned me,

“Don’t be scared when they saw off the old cast Nana,

it’s really loud…”

Hannah was brave, lit Chanukah candles

with her small unsteady hand, went to

pre-school, playschool, gymnastics,

dressed her dolls, played princess and

learned to swim.

Imaging, X-rays and CT Scans

were the backdrop for her days,

MRI’s, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy,

when she was older, counselling.

Hannah was friends with adults

because kids her age didn’t wear braces,

need Individualized Education Plans,

or miss school for doctors’ appointments.

In high school now, with Covid-19 raging across the nation,

Hannah has virtual friends and thrives in classes on Zoom,

writes music, sings in the choir on her iPad,

auditions for a part in her school play.

She delights others with her ready wit

and sense of humor.

Hannah is curious, creative, determined, bold.

She may never know what it’s like to run,

walk without a limp

or master the balance beam,

but Hannah will sail on her own wings,

scale mountains only she can climb,

and open others’ eyes to life lived fully.

Someday, she will curl in the arms

of a partner who loves her and sleep peacefully,

dreaming of a tomorrow where obstacles

fade into the background,

and judgements cease.

Nana Sasek for Hannah November 2020

Written as part of a Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative Community of Practice.

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