After Visiting Hours, and Struck

by Christopher Doyle

In the small hours of the morning
While the patients are asleep,
Or drugged beyond all sensibility,
Nurses, doctors, orderlies,
Through corridors do creep,
Their faces grinning with suppress'd glee.

Past emergency room gurneys,
Down into the depths below,
They scamper, capering, to that cold door
Where the corpses on their tables,
Or within their locker trays,
Will be dressed in bright regalia galore.

While nurses apply eyeliner,
Interns are switching toe-tags --
Painting nails with different shades of polish.
Two doctors each will dress them up:
Hawaiian shirts and tote-bags,
Speedos and bikini-briefs quite garish.

"Lay this one here, sit her right there,"
Arranged in a beach tableau,
A bit of sand tossed over all completes.
Such necrophilic revelry,
Doorway locked and now they're through,
Quietly, these professionals retreat.

(Diagnosis: Apoplexy)

His thoughts still drive neural highways
On their way to logical destinations.
But the storms of life have taken their toll,
And, at a stroke,
The asphalt abscessed,
And the tarmac is now in tatters.
Where once his mind sped easily,
Sometimes taking shortcuts
Or meandering down pleasant byways,
It now finds that bridges have fallen
Or been washed away,
Detours are common
And often lead nowhere,
Through-lanes end without merging,
And there are no alternate routes.
The on-ramps and access roads
Are closed for construction,
But the repair crews
Have quit for the day.

- Christopher G. Doyle