The Doctors, poems by Laura Solomon
Laura Solomon has a 2.1 in English Literature (Victoria University, 1997) and a Masters degree in Computer Science (University of London, 2003). Her books include Black Light, Nothing Lasting, Alternative Medicine, An Imitation of Life, Instant Messages, Vera Magpie, Hilary and David, In Vitro, The Shingle Bar Taniwha and Other Stories, University Days, Freda Kahlo’s Cry and Brain Graft. She has won prizes in Bridport, Edwin Morgan, Ware Poets, Willesden Herald, Mere Literary Festival, and Essex Poetry Festival competitions. She was short-listed for the 2009 Virginia Prize and the 2014 International Rubery Award and won the 2009 Proverse Prize. She has had work accepted in the Edinburgh Review and Wasafiri (UK), Takahe and Landfall (NZ). She has judged the Sentinel Quarterly Short Story Competition. Her play ‘The Dummy Bride’ was part of the 1996 Wellington Fringe Festival and her play ‘Sprout’ was part of the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Laura’s new collection ‘Tales of Love and Disability’ will be out soon from Woven Words Publishers. www.laurasolomon.co.nz
The doctors know it all, know best,
Know whether to wait or operate,
When to lock you up or set you free
And how much walking time you shall be granted.
I am at their mercy, or I was,
And hope to never be again.
They have no knowledge of compassion.
What terrible power!
Power of life or death.
One slip of the surgeon’s blade and it’s curtains;
Or paralysis – the wheelchair, or walking with a cane.
The nurses aren’t much better,
They gossip amongst themselves, scatter-brained,
Mocking my ambitions,
While they have none of their own.
This whole episode must be a set-up
Engineered by some malicious god
Playing a prank on me.
Who will have the last laugh?
The cackle’s stuck in my voice box,
From upstairs I can hear
Somebody else having a giggle
At my expense;
I am happy to provide the entertainment.
Mind you, at the risk of sounding like a know-it-all,
It must be said that back here on earth
None of them can tell me
Why it grew – this monstrosity
This lump inside my head.
Somebody is giving birth in the room next door.
Nine months is up, it’s time for the big arrival.
The rest of us are pregnant with the future –
Pregnant with possibilities
Each one opening out – a door to walk though, an invitation.
The midwife arrives bearing oxygen
Which is not needed
More pushing is done,
The umbilical cord is cut – time’s up,
Three kilos of perfection is delivered.
© Laura Solomon