The night before sickness
’Twas the night before sickness, when all through the clinic,
not a doctor was working, not a specialist in it;
magazines were in racks, Lysol hung in the air,
in hopes that the sickly would seek out some care;
fresh paper was rolled out across exam tables
while wheelchairs awaited the crippled, disabled;
upstairs, all the patients were stuck in their beds,
prepared for exams of their bums and their heads,
and the nurses in scrubs, and I in the mess
had just settled in for the night shift, no less,
when over the speakers I heard urgent chatter,
so I put on my sneakers to seek out the matter.
Away to the ER I flew like a flash,
to see who had suffered a burn or a crash;
the surgical lamps were all pointed as one,
the curtains pulled back, the room bright as the sun,
when what to my wondering eyes did appear
but a man with diseases from slight to severe;
if we did nothing, they’d slay him quite quick,
and I knew in a moment he must be St. Sick!
His symptoms were dire, his face was inflamed,
then he signed the clipboard and put why he came:
”I’ve rashes, I’ve cancer, I’ve plantar warts, sicker!
I’ve vomit, I’ve Covid, I’ve bedsores and blisters!
Get me onto a stretcher, whoever’s on call,
check my blood pressure, wheel me in the hall!”
I loaded him up and shined light in his eyes;
we couldn’t afford for old St. Sick to die;
we went up to the OR, the orderlies, too,
and in a grave voice, I shouted, “Code blue!”
We moved him to the table with a great “Oof!”
and called for a copter to land on the roof;
then over his head we slipped on his gown,
down to his kidneys for an ultrasound;
we used multiple culture tests on his caput;
he was covered in ulcers from head to his foot;
a sack filled with fluid was stuck on his back;
he said it included both tumors and plaque.
His septum was holey, his ventricles scary,
his whole body tingled, he had beriberi.
The hairs of his beard had both dandruff and yeast,
but it looked like his lice had already deceased;
we inserted a tube through his windpipe and teeth,
the type that would help him respire and breathe;
he was quite overweight, some would call him obese,
his heart rate went up and his copay increased;
he had hypercalcemia, pre-diabetes,
hallucinations of some elven species,
plus third-degree burns on his feet and his rear,
as well as insomnia, say, once a year.
Just as his symptoms could not be ignored,
the medivac landed; we put him aboard.
As we stood on the roof, the air started to blow,
then the copter took off and much higher he rose!
The blades were awhirring through clear midnight air
as St. Sick was transferring to specialty care;
the ambulance split through the sky with a whop
and we watched as he was dropped off at each spot;
he landed at ERs throughout the whole night,
ferrying sickness to all, so that none are alright.