The Nurse that Knew Better: A Poem


I was cleaning out the kids’ dresser today.

The back of the sock drawer, 

There was something that I didn’t immediately recognize. 


My little boy held it up and said, “What is this, mama?” 

In his little hands was an infant blood pressure cuff. 


Memories came flooding back to me. 

I could recall first time I saw that little medical device,

Three years ago.


“The nurses used that when you were just born to make sure you were healthy.”


That first night was so long.

I was so tired. 

It felt like it was going to last forever.


I didn’t know how to hold him,

Or breastfeed him,

Or soothe him.


He felt like a stranger to me.


The nurse helped me pack up my things.

“Do you want to keep this blood pressure cuff?”

“That’s ok”, I said.

It was useless to me now.

It would just take up space. 

I’m not that sentimental anyway.


She must have had an inkling 

That I would appreciate the extra hospital souvenir.

Because she slipped it into my bag even though I said I didn’t want it. 


And as I sat there

Three years later,

In my little boys’ bedroom,

That blood pressure cuff seemed so small. 

So important. 


I wish I could thank her; 

The nurse that knew better.


I tried to put it around his arm 

To show him how it worked.

And of course, 

It was too small.


A reminder to me that things change; 

And they change fast. 


Babies grow, 

Emotions shift,

Objects that once felt dull are now my most prized possessions.


My kids’ dresser is now organized.

The socks are matched,

The surface is dusted. 


And the little blood pressure cuff 

Is staying exactly where I found it.