24/7 was still to be invented
people said they worked 52 weeks
or around the clock
or seven days.
Hospital always had.
Christmas in the Antipodes. Hot and quiet.
only orthopaedics left
from the pre-festive rush
a skeleton staff tending,
to the skeletons of patients.
Cleaning, lots and longer breaks
ties and stockings dispensed with
perhaps that was how the topic arose
coffee break discussions normally ritualistic trivia
weddings – there always seemed to be a wedding.
The question was unexpected, as was my answer
I said I opposed it – abortion
said in this day and age
if someone did not want to be pregnant
it was easy enough not to be.
Silence gloved the room,
obviously not as liberal as thought
then as if Mickey Mouse had signed to Shakespeare
and hurriedly returned to Disney
the room began talking –
TV. Sports. Shopping. And weddings.
finish time was exactly that, never later.
10 minutes before
a quiet woman 10 years older
comes to assist me polish what I have just cleaned.
But polishing is not the purpose
15 years before
she terminated a pregnancy
had four children
and couldn’t possibly feed five
in my position you’d have done the same she said.
She spoke the absolute truth. Of that, there was no doubt.