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Saturday, 11 February 2012

a man lies bleeding

I'm driving to school
was driving to school
hopefully soon
will be driving to school
paused for a while
as some way ahead
is a man who lies bleeding
possibly dying
blocking the road.

Not far from him
is a doctor I know.
Good God in Heaven
he's not getting out!
(Much later he'll say
the threat of a law suit -
should the man die -
had prevented him caring,
left him penned in the car.)

(The victim would die
though not straight away.)

Arriving at school
the caretaker greets me.
Good day sir, he says.
The most dreadful news...
the boiler has died!

19 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Ouch. A very neat summation of our confused values. The doctor prevented by fear of potential legal action from acting in accordance with his Hypocratic oath, and the inconvenience of non functioning equipment raised to the same tragic level as a man's death.

Why have you not appeared on my dashboard before this. Drat you blogger.

The Unknowngnome said...

This certainly has the sting of death.

I enjoyed it Dave.

Williamz JungleJuice said...

Maybe ur scenario shows the little respect we have for life including our own. Compassion is another myth relegated to the dustbins of peoples' fantasy. A harsh judgement I know but one that is all around us as we speak.

That Janie Girl said...

You ALWAYS make me think.

JeannetteLS said...

A perfect, perfectly horrid juxtaposition. Oh, well DONE, Dave.

Brian Miller said...

nice...way to make us think dave..and the scary thing is i could see it all happening....

Kass said...

You point out how we value convenience over life, real life.

Well done.

Cait O'Connor said...

This poem hits home.

Mary said...

What an ending! (But still wondering about the man in the road.)

Gerry Snape said...

hmm....life or inconvenience? which will win the day here? human compassion and care or litigation...hmm let me see now?????

Ygraine said...

This is such a coincidence.
A young motor cyclist was killed just outside my home yesterday.
It was so harrowing, brought that awful feeling of 'if only I could have done something to prevent it'.
Fortunately he did have a lot of help from the air ambulance and fire crews.
It's just so sad it was all in vain.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

The last line is a blow. With a stinging irony and a tremendous taste of truth.

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable indeed :-).

Jenny Woolf said...

What a weird and surrealist poem. Really very disconcerting.

kaykuala said...

Makes one wonder how lucky it is to be extra careful. May not be the boiler's fault but he suffered.

Hank

Cloudia said...

Perspective indeed, caretaker
car-breaker,
physician-choice-maker...

Did you see my use of your prism musings the other day? Folks LOVED it!



Warm Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

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haricot said...

Simpler writing than usual, though the shock of the boy cannot be hidden...

Dave King said...

The Elephants Child
I think you sum it up very well. Welcome friend.
Yes, where have we been, each others' lives?

The Unknowngnome
Thanks. Good to know.

Williamz Jungle-Juice
It is all around us, you are right, but so is an inappropriate, so-called respect for human life. E.G. in our determination not to let terminally ill patients die, even when in great pain.

That Janie Girl
Hi, good to have you commenting. Thanks for doing so.

JeanetteLS
Thank you so much.

Brian Miller
I still can. I found it unbelievable at the time, but I've heard of similar instances since.

Kass
It's true, I'm afraid.

Cait
That's really good to know. Thanks.

Mary
Yes, I heard later that he died from loss of blood.

Gerry
Difficult one, I know!!

Ygraine
Yes, tragic. And the worse thing is, it's so common.

Tommaso
Which is exactly how it struck me at the time.

Windsmoke
Thank you.

Jenny
I found it disconcerting, but all too real - unfortunately. Thanks for the comment.

kaykuala
yup, I think we'll exonerate the boiler...

Cloudia
Thanks for that neat little summation.
Yes, good to hear folk liked it. Thanks for saying.

haricot
Maybe the simpler writing exposed it more. Thanks.

anthonynorth said...

So many of our values are going nowadays. A disgrace.