a crazy quartet – the women on my ward today


she has been looking down her body

below a knobbled knee

and isn’t sure she likes
what’s down there

after a time of study
she decides

down she goes

and wrench
to get it off

eat it

with relish
but no sauce

she studies what she’s left behind
through piggy eyes
that seem set
a little too close

watches the way the red
is swabbed away
without flinching

the toe
now cleaned
is a mis-shape
in white bandages
but she seems
somehow more contented


this is just me
I’m not actually
at all

I work all the time
in the arts
you know


and I do openings

I wouldn’t expect you to know
there’s no room for dull
in the arts

you have to know
how to

ha ha ha

how to

yes I know

and I find you nurses
are offensive

I find the doctors
second rate

I am not
repeat not
at all high maintenance

I require
only a normal amount of time
a normal degree
of due consideration

get me another yoghurt

and do you happen to have a razor
so I can
sharpen the trim
on my pubes


she’s been all right

not too bad you know

the change in just two weeks
is amazing

but she still dishes it up
to her mom

you know
when she was getting sick she went
from wanting to kill herself
to being jesus christ
in just a day or two

it was the weed
I think

and she says she won’t smoke it
but I don’t know

talk is cheap
and anyway you look at it
she’s still got a way to go

I mean
while she was on leave with us
she went out to church
with her gran

which was lovely
but she only went because
she claimed that she
was the special one
and she owed it to the congregation

I think she might
still have a way to go


she went missing
after dark
but we found her at last

behind the persimmon tree
and some scrappy bushes

she said there were men
there was risk
and threat

but when we had a look
there were none

she said she was in danger
that she might die

but we’d locked everything down
there was just us and her
and the something
in her head

but I don’t know
what goes on there

we had to carry her back inside
three of us nurses

a bad moment
in a mad mad day

that’s the way they go
these mad days
that I get caught
in the middle of

© Frank Prem, 2009



6 thoughts on “a crazy quartet – the women on my ward today

  1. Frank, my I ask, how do you feel about blogging your poetry? Do you obtain all rights here on wordpress? Is it published in a traditional sense? These may seem like naive questions, and I’m sorry for that. But I have been hesitant about posting my poetry, mainly over rights I think.

    This poem of yours is brilliant btw!

    Liked by 1 person

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