Bædside manners

“Jet leg? Do you know what jet leg is?”
Let me assure you, dear paramedic,
This ain’t no ‘jet leg’
Home is only an hour behind
And no amount of sleepiness
Could make someone shake, judder, stiffen the way he just did
Or make the face he’s making now

“Family, family
Do you have any idea what this could be?”
The guessing game you never expect to play
In a hospital hallway
None of my guesses won the game
“Family we’ve found a large mass in his brain”
I need a bucket I need a bucket

“We operate tomorrow, side effects include death, paralysis, personality changes”
His phone rings
He raises his hand, “let me get this”
“Yea, yea, big aggressive tumour, my kind, you know…the hard ones”
He laughs
I hadn’t noticed the red horns when I walked in the door

Intensive care is a precious commodity
Any wounds that family may have
Receive tough love
“Personality changes? No no, definitely not due to trauma, medication or surgery
Those will likely be permanent”
He said, of my husband of four years
Before swooping down the hall,
His scrubs flapping like a cape

“Bad genes”
He says, “this island is full of inbreeding.
Good job you’ll mix your genes with hers”, nodding at me
He hasn’t asked my name yet
But the chemo drugs he prescribes
Can cause infertility

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