An eight year old knifes his friend of seven
First patient in my 24 hour shift
He can’t fathom why it happened
Never cries, only stares at my face

Cases fall into cross-stitched heaps
Frightening flus, fingers glued
Joints that crack, fevers that soar
Bladders on boil with 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 guessing at answers
They can’t understand why I’m there and
They are right; this isn’t neon LA
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 to exit here

Certified but not qualified I’m traveling on
Perhaps not forward but somewhere else
These folks deserve better but sadly know
I can’t fix a damn thing