Thursday, May 03, 2007

The ED Sonnets: Room 10

These two have more off-rhymes than usual, but Gary thinks they work as is, so I'm posting them anyway.

In other medblogging news, the latest Change of Shift, the nursing blog carnival, is up over at Emergiblog. Kim very graciously not only included my post, but added an advertisement for my upcoming readings. Thanks, Kim!


Chair 10.1

This room has dental chairs instead of beds,
and houses ear infections, injured eyes,
cat scratches, nosebleeds, rashes, boils and hives.
Why are these patients here, I think, instead
of Fast Track? Take this guy, who burned his hands
and needs the dressings changed: emergency?
I’m puzzled, but we banter pleasantly
about his job, the weather, foreign lands
he’s visited. And then in that same tone --
relaxed and casual -- he tells me how
the devil lives inside his radio,
prefers rock stations, won’t leave him alone,
drowns out his favorite songs. “I had to buy
an iPod. He’s not there yet, but he’ll try.”


Chair 10.2

And here we have a mom and little boy,
wide-eyed at what they’ve heard. HIPAA, hurray!
I smile to reassure them. They can’t say
a word Chair One won’t hear. “Do you enjoy
this job?” the mother asks. “Oh, yes!” Her code
is clear: You like to talk to folks like that?
I really do: the universe is vast,
exhilarating. These small rooms bestow
huge gifts, God’s strangeness shining from each tale,
particular and poignant. “So what brings
you here tonight?” The child looks up, looks sad.
“Sam bit me. He’s my dog. He was on sale,
but now we have to take him back.” He clings
to Mom. “He wasn’t trying to be bad!”


  1. I'm astounded. Somebody who writes poetry and cares about the sound of the language. Me too - for example, see Cutting Time in my March 24 post.

  2. Good morning Susan!
    Lovely poems! Poor kid though. I really feel for him. Reminds me of what you said about Gestella. Ouch! So maybe my experience and subsequent reading of your story was meant to make my heart more receptive. Thanks! (g)

  3. Paul: Many people write poetry and care about the sound of the language!

    Lee: Yes, there are faint echoes of "Gestella" in there, although in this case, getting a biting dog away from a child is the responsible thing to do. (That doesn't make it easier on the kid, of course.)


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