Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)


He was the first to graduate,
top of his class at that.
Male nurse he was,
an oxymoron for the crowd,
but he had stuck with all,
had soon excelled and stunned
the staff and the examiners.

He woke each morning, before five,
slipped in the starched and white
then crowned it all by slinging one
his graduation gift, a bell type, too
across his rigid shoulders, pride
as well as practicality and need,
it was the seal of their approval, yes indeed.

On Christmas Eve, he'd volunteered,
they brought a toddler with a temp of 43,
he called the Registrar to get the go
and drew the morphine into glass, precisely so.

The child soon died, it had been calculated wrong,
the dose had been the proper one for one full grown,
perhaps the doc had figured this one way too strong
but here he was, the one in charge and on his own.

He took a 10, it was the largest he could find,
and filled it carefully, then shot it in his vein,
and within seconds he was screaming, going blind
and then he died because the morphine wrecked his brain.

Submitted: Thursday, December 27, 2007

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Comments about this poem (Malpractice by Herbert Nehrlich )

  • Rookie Tara very irritated with PH injustice (12/29/2007 5:12:00 AM)

    Yep. A miscalculation can lead to death (or in my case lifelong kidney problems) . This eloquent, almost blase, rhythmic piece struck home. t x (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Thad Wilk (12/27/2007 12:37:00 PM)

    Nice write Herbert! Sad he took that way out, always a pleasure to read your poems!
    Best regards, Thad
    P.S. Hope you have a very happy New Year! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

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