An eight year old knifed by a boy of seven
First patient in my 24 hour shift
He can’t fathom why it happened
Never cries just stares at my face

Cases pile into cross-stitched heaps
Frightening flus, fingers glued
Joints that crack, fevers that soar
Bladders on the boil and bellies set to burst
Surgical back-up?
No one’s sure
Brain injuries?
Transport to whoever takes that day
Good luck getting them on the phone

The staff scribble notes, eyes hoping for answers
They can’t understand why I’m there and
They are right; this isn’t neon LA
Just a small village split by shouts and cops
I thank all the gods the overdoses make it

A full day of moonlighting without any light
The night’s main music hurtling ambulances
Most unsure if they should exit here

Certified but not qualified I’ll be traveling on
Perhaps not forward but somewhere else
These folks deserve far better but really do know
I can’t fix a damn thing