Four Patients

by Callum J Hackett


Ten years of weary deterioration,
convincing others there's no need to be sad;
now, as doctors walk the corridors and talk
to everyone but you, all hope has been had,
and the pain is unbearable.


Eighteen months of slowly growing tumours,
each of them unleashing hormones in the blood;
but tests and scans and drugs and surgery
will let you live as long as anyone could,
though the pain is unbearable.


Twenty-six days have crawled by since the fall
when you fractured your arm for the third time;
even small movements make you writhe and squeal,
and you wonder why, in your untainted prime,
the pain should be so unbearable.


Forty-five minutes of this sore, blocked nose
makes you damn the human body's failings;
every inch seems defenceless, easily seized
at any moment, so you lie in bed wailing
that the pain is unbearable.