Smooth Operation

Posted: May 14, 2022 in Poetry
Tags: , ,
Not my operation. Photo is a U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Feddersen/ RELEASED)
                 Smooth Operation
                    By David Allen                 

Nurses sometimes make all the difference
between worry and confidence you'll be all right.
Despite a weird recovery after my fourth spinal operation, 
when I tripped on a cocktail of meds that threw me 
into a disjointed world, where dead friends visited 
my hospital room and doctors sought to study my rare condition,
I began the fifth assault on my spine somehow sure
operation, where the surgeon would make 
a four-inch slit in my back and scrape the bony growth 
exerting pressure on my nerves, and strengthening 
my spine with rods and pins, couldn’t be any worse.

Any qualms I might have harbored were 
allayed by my recovery room nurse. 
She was young and perky and had a smile 
that destroyed any concern I might have.
“My name is Tara,” she said. “And I’ll be 
with you before and after the procedure.“
(“Procedure” seems less threatening than surgery.)

I relaxed and smiled when I read the card 
that she wore on her blouse. 
“How do you feel?” she asked.
“Better than a minute ago,” I answered. 
“Tara, You’re gonna make my pain Gone With the Wind.”
“That’s what I’m here for,” she said,
My wife, laughed and told the nurse I was a punster and a poet 
and often made such strange observations.
“A poet?” the nice nurse asked. “I wrote some in high school.”
She shared what she learned to the sleep doc 
when I was wheeled into the operating room.
“Oh yeah?” he asked, placing a rubber mask over my face.
“Who’s your favorite poet?”
“Today? Bukowski,” I said. “But don’t ask me why.”
“I like the classics, Whitman and Frost,“ he said.
“Now breathe in deeply.”

I awoke several hours later with a new four-inch slit
stitched over a decades-old scar.
 I smiled at a nurse hovering over me.
 I read her name name card on chest and laughed.
“Destiny? “ I repeated her name. “Really?”
She asked if there was anything she could for me.
“Can you tell me what’s my destiny?”I quiped. 
She laughed. “Honey, I don’t even know my own destiny.” 

“Whew,” one of the voices in my head muttered.
“This is going to a cakewalk.” 
And the voices argued throughout the night,
over the meaning of a cakewalk.

  1. Hey David! Great write! Did you enjoy your trip? When I first saw the word ‘tripped’, I thought you fell. Then I re-read it and got the gist of it. I thought, what are they doing putting a cocktail in the middle of the floor! I’m tripping, too! LOL

    Liked by 2 people

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