Joe X (quiet guy)

Between

paper curtains,

I hear that old Joe

In the next bed has

cancer

of the liver;

 

They are not sure how long,

They are not even sure

where,

Just

that there is something

bad

Inside.

 

They

Talk about

pros

and cons

of investigation;

 

‘We could do a camera test,

top and bottom,

CT,

Biopsy’

 

I hear the words fluttering from the mouth of the ageing doctor

I know Joe

Can’t hear a word of the

Jargon;

nonsense

that makes no sense

To me

and I have an idea about these things.

 

Next,

It’s me;

 

I regret/resent/abhor/the situation.

 

I struggle with the reality

That my privacy is shared

with the three others

and,

that woman over there –

Who the hell is she?

 

They wouldn’t let my wife in;

Not visiting time they said;

Ward round

Confidentiality

I overheard.

 

Yet,

They allow

Those

Goons

to

proliferate.

 

And, my

Erectile dysfunction

Infection,

Overdose,

deterioration

is

broadcast

To strangers.

 

The anonymity

Of patient/hood

 

I am a private man.

Introvert,

Solipsist;

 

And here,

I am faced

With discussions

About my innards

broadcast

To that

Bloke

Across the way.

 

Pants/boxers

down

to your knees;

three; a doctor, nurse and medical student

watch

As a purple finger

Is shoved-up my ass.

 

My mum

Always used to say

That you give-up dignity when you enter a ward.

Yet,

How they pretend.

How they impose an order upon us,

When we can see the chaos,

The randomness.

 

I ask the doctor,

‘Could you repeat that please?’

He hasn’t heard;

has moved-on

To the next guy.

 

Joe and I

left,

in bed,

pyjama’d.

anonymity

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