Pump – Steve Singleton

Two days in, confined to my room

Pump

Tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a,

tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a.

The never-ending soundtrack, to my days

and nights.

Before, tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a.

I was free to roam unrestricted, unchecked, unrestrained.

But the more I hear,

tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a.

The more poison enters my system,

the more my world contracts.

First, confined to the ward, 

tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a,

A Prisoner in every room

each shackled to the wall.

Caged with their own fear and pain, unwilling to share,

anxiety etched on their faces.

Dead, flat eyes stare into their personal oblivion,

but not mine.

Tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a,

I wake to the noise, but

as the ward awakens it slips to the back ground,

lurking unnoticed, overpowered by routine, 

medic’s in and out,

trollies, squeaky shoes, conversation in hushed tones,

the hospital revving to reach a crescendo of noise.

Tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a,

Poison, overwhelming my defences, it betters me physically,

it rips out my humour, my bravado

but not my determination.

I cling to ’this is temporary, it will pass’.

Two days in, confined to my room,

food I cannot face.

Tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a.

Three days in, all I can do is close my eyes, to hope in sleep

I reach a state, where waves of nausea

will not find me.

All to soon I visit Mr Armitage and Mr Shanks

who have seen it all before.

The day wains 

tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a,

roars back.

Silence trying to creep through the hospital, 

never quite snuffs out the sound.

Tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a.

Day five, the small hours, its contents discharged

the last bag hangs empty from my skinny friend.

The pump silenced, the rhythm stops.

No more, 

tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a-tuck-a.

A few short hours, unmolested sleep follow. 

Discharged home, a pale shadow who looks like me.

Empty, retched and exhausted, but 

still standing,

unbowed,

still fighting.

Steve Singleton, North West London

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