The Cost of Living

Na'ama Yehuda

smallpox hospital Roosevelt Island IngeVandormaelPhoto: Inge Vandormael

She had come to make a new life.

She found illness. She found death.

And life, perhaps, hiding in the shadows

Of her convalescing sorrow,

Waiting

To take hold.

She had come in search of meaning.

She found a babble of confusion.

Within. Without.

Rising skyward. Buried underground.

She found hope, too. For things she didn’t know

Even had names

But sprouted meaning

In the corners of what she believed

Was ruined,

But had in fact been opened

To allow in the winds of change.

She came seeking answers,

And found the cost

Of living

Paid for little more than added questions,

And that she had to look

Quite closely

At what wasn’t there,

To find

What she did not even know

She had been searching for.

Photo: The old Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island (a narrow island set in the East River between Queens and…

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