Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Public Hospital

The stench
Is etched in the
Niche of my mind
The smell of desperation,
Pain, mud coloured tea,
And yellow black bananas
The endless rows
Of people identified by
A number on a priceless card

Scarves, different size hats,
Once white nurse
Uniforms blend in with
Colourless bandanas
And brightly coloured
Swahili Khangas
Attempting to hide
Pain, boredom and
Sleepless nights
Imprinted on long suffering

Unpaid doctors walk
Leisurely back from
Endless coffee breaks
As the stench of blood,
Stale vomit, boiled cabbage
And bloody needles
Saturate us
Like a wet blanket
My innards
Angrily churn,
Like a gourd turning

With each strained swallow
Of watery bilious saliva
I hold my friend’s hand
And squeeze a little tighter
Bracing myself
For a long, long wait
Yet afraid to breath in
The scent
Wherein lives
The first breathe
Of life
The clutch
Of death’s hand
And the magical years
In between

POP 18 Sep 06

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