by Andrew J. Müller

These five poems were written during Andrew's stay in hospital in January 2001. They were inspired by his not altogether pleasant experience.

No. 1 - Will I Miss My Drip?
No. 2 - She Was Screaming Again
No. 3 - The Guns Of Navaronne
No. 4 - Three Possibilities
No. 5 - They Took Her Away

No. 1. "Will I Miss My Drip?"

Drip drip drip
goes my saline drip
will I miss my drip
when I’m out of here?

Each salty drop
which does it’s job
and rehydrates
and my kidneys inflate.

So drip drip drip
goes my saline drip
will I miss my drip
when I’m out of here?

With a steady flow
it’s reassuring to know
that I won’t shrivel
and go parchment dry.

Yes drip drip drip
goes my saline drip
will I miss my drip
when I’m out of here?

But when it backs up blood
In a claret flood
And the tube fills red
Whilst I lay here in bed
And the scab it itches
Like the mother of all bitches
On my peace it intrudes
With its scarlet tube
And like a metal shadow
It goes wherever I go.

No drip drip drip
I’m not going to flip
I won’t miss that drip
when I’m out of here.

No. 2. "She Was Screaming Again"

Last night
Through the night
The woman next door
Was screaming again.

Her gurgling cries
Brought tears to my eyes
What a terrible strain
Brought on by such pain.

She was left alone for so long
I’m sure something’s wrong
But I lay in the dark
And try to forget to hark.

Each wracking cough
Says her body’s had enough
But she screams through the night
And cries out in fright.

In the morning she was quiet
Will she scream again tonight
And if she does not
Why not?

No. 3. "The Guns Of Navaronne"

They stand in serried rank
Along the table
Gaping grey tubes
With their hidden, dark depths.

From where I lie they are
Like the Guns of Navaronne
I scan the horizon
For Gregory Peck.

But these are receptacles
For something more noxious
Than mere shells
Or high explosives.

They are to contain a foul liquid
Entirely of my making
I stare at them disolutely
I think I shall need one soon.

No. 4. "Three Possibilities"

What about that nice doctor
Who signed me in
Small and blonde and pretty
But then she put her hands
When none had ever been
Which must make my chances pretty shitty.

There’s that attentive nurse
Who must’ve seen worse
Than the floor when I missed the commode
Hmm, maybe not
As I missed the pot
And my excitement overflowed.

Ah, then, the Chinese doctor
She was cute
The one who took my blood
But then she’s probably prodded my poo
And examined my wee
Which is more intimate than a first date should be.

Perhaps I should forget it
This is not the right place
After all, can you imagine the question?
"So where did you two meet?"
Well - I had my back to her
And she had a prophylactic glove on…

No. 5. "They Took Her Away"

The woman next door
Died this morning
Doctors and nurses ran around
Clumping up and down
The corridor.

Ventilator hissing
Instruments beeping
But still she died this morning
Her poor, pained body
Could take no more.

Relatives came
And sat in there sobbing
All I could do was lay on the bed
And listen to the sounds
Coming from the room.

And in the afternoon
The porters came
And I heard her put in a box
And they took her away
And all was silent.

All was silent.

These poems appear alongside many others by Andrew in BeWrite Books's "Shaken and Stirred: Poetry from the Far Corners" published in 2002.

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