新视野大学英语_新视野大学英语3课文unit5 Graceful Hands-天娱英语
I have never seen Mrs. Clark before, but I know from her medical chart and the report I receivedfrom the preceding shift that tonight she will die.
The only light in her room is coming from a piece of medical equipment, which is flashing its red lightas if in warning. As I stand there, the smell hits my nose, and I close my eyes as I remember the smellof decay from past experience. In my mouth I have a sour, vinegar taste coming from the pit of mystomach. I reach for the light switch, and as it silently lights the scene, I return to the bed to observethe patient with an unemotional, medical eye.
Mrs. Clark is dying. She lies motionless: the head seems unusually large on a skeleton body; the skinis dark yellow and hangs loosely around exaggerated bones that not even a blanket can hide; the rightarm lies straight out at the side, taped cruelly to a board to secure a needle so that fluid may drip in;the left arm is across the sunken chest, which rises and falls with the uneven breaths.
I reach for the long, thin fingers that are lying on the chest. They are ice cold, and I quickly move tothe wrist and feel for the faint pulse. Mrs. Clark's eyes open somewhat as her head turns toward meslightly. I bend close to her and scarcely hear as she whispers, "Water." Taking a glass of water fromthe table, I put my finger over the end of the straw and allow a few drops of the
cool moisture to slideinto her mouth and ease her thirst. She makes no attempt to swallow; there is just not enough strength.
"More," the dry voice says, and we repeat the procedure. This time she does manage to swallow someliquid and weakly says, "Thank, you."She is too weak for conversation, so without asking, I go about providing for her needs. Picking herup in my arms like a child, I turn her on her side. Naked, except for a light hospital gown, she is so verysmall and light that she seems like a victim of some terrible famine. I remove the lid from a jar of skincream and put some on the palm of my hand. Carefully, to avoid injuring her, I rub cream into theyellow skin, which rolls freely over the bones, feeling perfectly the outline of each bone in the back.
Placing a pillow between her legs, I notice that these too are ice cold, and not until I run my hand upover her knees do I feel any of the life-giving warmth of blood.
When I am finished, I pull a chair up beside the bed to face her and, taking her free hand betweenmine, again notice the long, thin fingers. Graceful. I wonder briefly if she has any family, and then I seethat there are neither flowers, nor pictures of rainbows and butterflies drawn by children, nor cards.
There is no hint in the room anywhere that this is a person who is loved. As though she is a mindreader, Mrs. Clark answers my thoughts and quietly tells me, "I sent ... my family ... home ... tonight ...