Malpractice - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
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.
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