(04 October 1943 / Germany)

His Operation

A shiny toy it could well be,
in other times and better health.
This bed in Hospital, electric,
with places for restraints,
and cables running parallel
to tubes which carry drainage,
one is so yellow, that's the urine,
originating as usual but conveyed
right through the private member,
stinging when he moves or coughs.

He squeezes the dispenser, demerol,
to kill the pain he has not felt since noon,
great help it is, it lets you go away,
and even doctors will not wake you
on their rounds. They are afraid as well,
like you, to tell you all, and you, unable
to hear or comprehend today, perhaps
including all of 'if tomorrow ever comes'.

They cut you brutally, my friend in need,
to clean it out, the lesion that obstructed
the upper sigmoid so defiantly, on Monday.
No smiles were seen on faces, and no pupils
were showing you their usual connectiveness,
but all would know results tomorrow or today,
a verdict looking hopelessly for listeners.

So, come, my dear companion, Sandman,
you saw me through so many crises, how
could dilemmas get me down and out?
And let me sleep the sleep of innocents,
no lightning strike will kill you in your dreams.

God willing, I am game, oh yes, if needed
you may decide to let me pass into beyonds,
where not a single scathing word is spoken
and only patience is required as a virtue.

by Herbert Nehrlich

Comments (2)

Powerful poem Herbert. Well written. Liked the last line in particular.
Very powerful Herbert. Sad situation, I suspect you see many of these. Sincerely, Mary