Late Shift: Notes to Self

1 November 2015

(Inspired by Henry Reed)

Rush hour again: a fast lane of drip poles, trolleys and beds
freighting the stricken. That skip needs
to be emptied and bed twenty nine needs a bed pan.
My husband is uncorking a merlot.
It has a bouquet of hibiscus and blackbird song.

Rush hour again: a fast lane of drip poles, trolleys and beds.

Tonight the world has a point to make about frangible bones and hearts.
I am calling down an angel to banish bed fifteen’s pain,
hold the hand of the patient in extremis whom I can’t get to yet.
Outside a white sail of birds is unfurling
and the jacaranda trees are in blossom.

Tonight the world has a point to make about frangible bones and hearts.

This is a cannula and this, the basilic vein. Irritation of the vein
may lead to phlebitis, which in our case we do not want.
Two grams of Flucloxacillin are due at six.
Somewhere other than here children are in bed
and are being read ‘The Wind in the Willows.’

This is a cannula and this, the basilic vein.

With a blood pressure that high, how does her heart hold?
Follow the algorithm ABCDE, never letting anyone see how you feel.
The dressing is soaked with blood. We call it ‘strike through.’
The daylight is draining
and the sunset over the hills is beautiful.

With a blood pressure that high, how does her heart hold?

The weight of the traction is four kilos. To turn bed nine and wash his back,
four nurses will be needed, which in our case we do not have.
He wants the lights left on.
The moons hangs like an aspirin over the city
and the breeze is palliative on my face.

The weight of the traction is four kilos.

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