I TRY NOT TO LAUGH

AFTER TWO DAYS ON A MEN’S SURGICAL WARD

We’re in stitches, of course, though we feel ‘all cut up’;
But, oh don’t make us laugh lest our wounds we should rip.
I feel sure I have starred in a theatre tragedy
For I fainted just now, sitting up after surgery.
No, please try not to cry!

We maintain a full house – all us guys and relations.
In the next beds along you’ll find nonagenarians –
Sprightly Sid’s ninety-one, tiny Tim’s ninety-two
Who, by missing a step, turned his eye black and blue.
Oh, you’ll smile in a while!

Our friend Frederick’s gallstone – a meteorite –
Circulates in a jar to the whole ward’s delight:
It looks just like a slice of banana in stone,
Plus a necklace-like dozen, striped brown and black, shine.
It helps keep us amused!

Those with waterworks jobs indulge catheter-talk,
As each seems to take goldfish on exercise walks!
Poor old Alec had siphoned his bladder all year.
They’ve stitched gardening hose in his tummy, I fear.
Ouch! We blink back the tears!

Now, with drainage tube gone, yells a hearty yippee
After normally passing a bottle of wee.
Though ‘a pain in the backside’ the op. was for Tim,
He is glad that his piles will no longer hurt him.
He is happy both ends!

They have wheeled in a fellow like President Putin,
But his Somerset accent no one is disputing.
And, despite double-hernia mending, he grins,
For the surgeon implanted the pain-killer in.
We can’t help grinning too!

Nearly all in our bay are as deaf as a post
So, in each conversation, no secret is lost.
Burly Bart is admitted as I’m due to go home –
Chats aloud to himself just as if on the phone.
I must try not to laugh!

Prone, he mutters some story and chuckles with glee;
Then keeps asking: ’Is it time yet for my surgery?’
I am spared: bang on cue my chauffeuse has arrived.
No, I dare not laugh yet – but can smile: I survived!
Though I am still in stitches!

Hugh Thompson

26 August 2000

P.S. All the names are fictional, and some verifying details have been altered.
This could be a men’s minor surgery story in Anywhere Hospital.

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