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Terry Collett Jul 2017
When shall we
three meet again?  
Maggie said,
sitting in the bath,
sensing the hot water
about her limbs.

The two nurses,
one large, blonde haired,
the other tall and slim,
looking scared, did not reply,
but stood either side
of the woman, criminality insane,
watching her every move.

When shall we meet again?  
Maggie repeated, eyeing
the red soap, brushing
her lips again the red,
remembering Jamie
her lost lover, whom
she murdered, now dead.
At woman in an asylum.
James Cumberland Feb 2017
"We are the witnesses to how alike all men bleed."*
Man our easel, we stretch clean canvas over scarlet brushstrokes,
We work stitchings like guitar strings,
find a melody in the mending,
hide scars like bass, in clean skin,
and hide the pain from each ending.
Their lungs sing.

An alto for death's row,
its sound makes your heart slow.
Let's see what you have inside,
with open eyes, your mother cried,
in toupe-walled rooms, we cut the cord,
no savage mark by a doctor's sword.

Just silence and sadness,
greyness and madness,
long halls and dancers,
small windows and glances.
Terry Collett Nov 2016
I placed the Camus book
face down on the canteen table

other nurses sat over the way talking
looking at some magazine

smoke rose from a cigarette
put on the side of an ashtray

I sipped my coffee
and looked down
at the bumf on the back cover
of the book
The Outsider
by Albert Camus
and other black print

I felt an outsider
outside the circle
of behind the back talk
the chitchat of this and that

I thought the mentally ill patients
more desirable company
with their smiles
and odd stares
and drooling mouths

I thought about Natanya
the night before
us at it in the bed

she holding me
about the waist
me looking down at her
at her black hair
her eyes gazing

the bed rocking away
she maybe thinking what
her kids might think
might say

a nurse got up
from the table
and laughed about something
then she went on her way
out the door

the other three sat
and talked about her
probably or more likely
me.
IN A HOSPITAL CANTEEN IN 1975.
Terry Collett Jun 2016
With my hands
I move myself
to the side of the bed,
and stare around
with sightless eyes,
wondering if the nurse
put the commode
near the bed
as she said she would.

I try to balance
on one hand
as I search around
with the other.

The pain
in my leg stumps
nags at me
each time I move.

I touch
the commode arm,
and try and move myself
in a position,
that I may
be able to get
on the commode,
but as I move forward
I fall into darkness,
and hit my head,
and land on my back,
and stare into
a painful blackness.

Grace,
a voice says,
what are you doing?

I face the voice:
I wanted to get
on the commode,
I say.

You must ask,
the voice says.

I want to be
independent,
I say.

Not just yet;
now keep still
while we assess you
for damage,
the voice says.

She calls out for help;
I hear footsteps
running and another
voice says,
what's Grace
doing on the floor?

She was trying to get
on the commode
by herself,
the other voice says.

Shall I call a doctor
to examine her?  

I'm all right,
I say,
nothing broken;
just the usual
pains and aches.

Your head is bleeding,
a voice says;
other voices come.

I lie still
and stare at
the darkness
around me,
attempting to stare
at faces
I cannot see.
A BLIND WOMAN IN A LONDON HOSPITAL IN 1940.
Julie Grenness Apr 2016
Hands are for healing,
Alleviating, soothing,
Balms for calming,
Gently restoring,
Curative hands,
From many lands,
To salve and ease,
Free remedies,
Hands for comforting,
Hands are for healing.
Feedback welcome.
Terry Collett Mar 2016
The nurses
must think I’m asleep
because my eyes are closed
but my blind eyes

can see nothing
whether open or closed
I lie thinking
about how I danced

with Clive back in 1939
what will happen
to Grace now?
one nurse says

talking nearby
her leg stumps
are healing now
but whether she'll walk again

depends how she copes
another nurse says
no sight either
how does she

make out that?
the first nurse says
she's still pretty though
no scars or ****** damage

and that gentleman
who visited her
wants to take her
out to dinner when

she is more able
I lie still
pretend I am sleeping
wanting to hear more

my leg stumps throb
and my none
existent feet itch
and I want

to scratched them
but lie still
trying to act
a sleeping beauty

waiting for my prince
to come
her house was bombed
but she was pulled

out alive but her maid
was killed
the nurse says
breaking into my act

the feet itching
the stumps throbbing
my eyes wanting
to see again

the nurses move away
outside
hitting windows
a harsh fall of rain.
A BLIND AND LEGLESS WOMAN IN HOSPITAL HEARS TALK ABOUT HERSELF IN 1940.
Terry Collett Feb 2016
I am lying flat on the bed,
a nurse is rubbing my leg stumps,
her hands are smooth,
fingers skillful.

Another nurse
is beside me;
I  can hear
their conversation
between each other.

She died in the night,
the nurse nearby says,
terrible wounds,
didn't think she
would survive.

I think of Jean
and how she had
just gone off after
our row yesterday.

Her children were dead
at the scene;
the house took a direct hit
in last night's blitz,
the nurse nearby says.

It is tragic children
being killed like that,
the nurse rubbing
my leg stumps says.

I stare at the area
of their voices as if
I could see,
but I see nothing,
darkness where voices
come from.

My hands lie dormant
by my sides.

It is oddly sensual
this rubbing,
painful but sensual,
as if the mixture
of pain and rubbing
combined to make it
seem sensual.

I remember Clive
touching me the last time,
his hands moving
between my legs
and kissing my feet
and even now
I sense his kisses.

The last time
we made love.

There between me
he lay.

Then, he was gone
and died at Dunkirk.

The reality shocks me
and I move,
Steady , Grace,
steady, am I hurting you?
the nurse says,
holding my leg stumps.

No,
I say,
no just a memory.

She rubs again,
the sensuality fighting
with the pain.
A BLIND WOMAN IN HOSPITAL WITH NURSES IN LONDON IN 1940.
When you got home in the early morning hours
You said that you were with someone
I was not mad

When you told me how you met them
You had the night of your life
I was not mad

When you told me that you tried to leave their room
You were begged not to go
I was not mad

When you told me you felt so connected to them
You were their everything
I was not mad

When you told me how you placed your hands on their chest
You told me of the breaths you shared
I was not mad

When you fell into my arms, cried and told me
You had barely saved their life
I was so proud

-For all who have sacrificed for the well being of the unknowns-

-Brian Patrick O'Connor SR.- 2016
Nurses are strong. Read it to the end
Brian O'Connor 2016
There are few words to describe how I feel about the love of my life,
but I hope that this will.

"I sit beside a nurse
The love of my life
And God willing one day
She will be my wife.
I watch her get ready
Her makeup and hair.
And smile as she goes
Where only few dare.
She walks beside the timid,
The mild and meek
She is the strength
When they are the weak.
She battles the sickness
The lows and the highs.
She is the savior of so many lives.
She is my angel
My princess, my queen.
My nurse is the maker of so many dreams."

-Brian Patrick O'Connor SR.- 2016
Brian O'Connor 2016
Preston Sep 2015
I have faith in medical science
But little in practice.
Straight spined doctors
Racing stopwatches against
Their appointment books.
Extolling the virtues of thousands of years of medical research
But unable to consider anyone's opinion other than their own.
Kindly, soft-voiced nurses shuffling from
Room to room
Doling out condolences and reassurances
Paired with regimens
Of drugs and IVs.
While Old Time in the ticking clock
Slows
To a dead crawl.
And the noise of heartbeats on machines
And discussions out in the hall
And loved ones distracting and pacifying patients in beds
Layer on top of one another to form a firm blanket of
Crushing. Boredom.
And the antiseptic smell does nothing to ease
The passing of time spent waiting
While the medical machine spins its wheels
To the chime of slot machines.
And the bustling rush outside a curtain
On hard white floors,
Does less than lend a sense a peace
But more of frantic urgency.
Minute long - task oriented visits
Where they know names, numbers, and insurance coverage
And they know how many steps it takes for them
To lend more of their valuable time
In that modern balance of cost and care.
Leaving me wondering,
Where did the connection go?
I wonder where peoples' trust went
And when it was replaced with,
"How much will this cost me?"
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