Poem: Hospital Nocturnal

Hospital Nocturnal
Lights are dim yet rude street lamps
Claim space on the floor near the window
My sheets readily expose my body to
An infinite breeze
Blankets as soft as sandstone
Warm up my feet as sweat beads on brow
And trickles down cheeks.
Hospital smells – antiseptic and cold
An undercurrent of blood and urine masked
by pine coming to the fore
when a patient expresses
Nurses busy themselves to restore decorum
Preserve dignity
Pretend security
They count empty specimen jars
Measure your vitals
Whilst they filter out machines
                That ping
                                With quiet vigilance
Amidst the random snores and restless turns
The patient in bed two
Pulls out the catheter
Peels the cannula away
And stumbles towards an admonishing finger
The patient in bed three tsks
At every swear word
Then complains about it
                To the chaplain
                                The next day
A hospital is not
                A safe place
                                To find sleep.

Dreams are filled with visions of deities
Who fancy themselves as doctors who
Play chess with death
checkers with pestilence
Then drive home to real safe houses
I cast my mind to days outside
Eating a hamburger
                Sleeping on comfortable beds

Waiting to be discharged


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