Amazing how much time I spend looking
out a window at a window
while the orderlies line
the bed with needles,
snickering after death.
One morning you have dueling scars,
the next they come for the toe.
More specimens, please, once more drawing
blood. Oh my lord and master
let it rain.
Tomorrow is surgery
then a change of mind possibly
a change of heart.
After the operation
the doctor asks me to bend
pennies with my good ear.
I manage to move my foot and the bed
and the blue panties my charge nurse
left lying on the floor.
They give me these little pills to help
me with my sex life,
but take away my knife right
before I finish carving
American history on my arm.
Perhaps it's a rebellion
against hospital food, nurses on stilts.
One sucking wound to another--
have you enjoyed your light
daubing of oil-based paint?
They told me in recovery I might wander.
Later turtle doves convene under the bed
to discuss mutual funds and their place
in the great Chain of Being.
Catheter is not a word even a mother can love.
A nurse starts another drip line in my arm.
I'm expecting her to return for my bath.
That's the part I'm waiting for,
when she says, Roll over,
and I show her my big scars.
Ian Randall Wilson