David Lewis Paget
The Ambulance That Got Away - Poem by David Lewis Paget
When Grandpa suffered a turn, we
Called the ambulance, right away,
They strapped him onto a gurney
So he couldn't sit up, or sway,
‘We'll see you up at the hospital, '
We cried, as we waved him well,
The ambulance went with bells and lights
Like a demon bound for hell!
Grandma wasn't at home, we
Had to phone her on the cell,
She couldn't come back just then, she said
She was having a fainting spell,
So we waited until he was settled in
Then drove in a convoy down,
To the hospital at Ullarook,
Just fifty miles from town.
The nurse at the desk said: ‘No-one here
By the name of Alfred Groom,
We only have private patients here,
We bed them, one to a room,
If he hasn't got private cover, then
You'll have to look elsewhere,
Maybe the ambulance took him off
To the hospital at Bulnare.'
We phoned the hospital at Bulnare:
‘He hasn't been seen round here,
There was an ambulance, come to think,
But he left with a flea in his ear!
We don't take patients from out of town
There's few enough beds for us,
He's probably over at Gundacoot,
They run their own private bus.'
We drove ten miles to Gundacoot,
An ambulance sat in the drive,
We thought, ‘Thank God, he must be here!
Let's hope that he's still alive! '
We all raced in through the sliding doors
And crowded around the Nurse:
‘Who? Alfred Groom, in a private room?
Not here! ' We left with a curse!
We split up the convoy into two,
I drove to the nearest town,
A middling place called Jerribee
With a hospital, quite run down,
‘The government cut our funding, '
Said the Nurse in the parking bay,
‘We shut down twenty beds last week,
Your Dad isn't here today.'
My son had travelled the other way
To Inkermine on the coast,
The hospital there had a hundred beds
The locals were wont to boast,
‘He's isn't here, but the ambulance
Was spotted on leaving town, '
My son had sighed on his endless ride
When he called on the mobile phone.
That night when Grandma got her breath
She went to the ambulance place,
She battered him with her umbrella
Knocking his glasses clean off his face:
‘Where did you take him, tell me now
Or I'll have to call the police!
What? Are your ears painted on! '
‘We took him to Bungaleese! '
The only place that would take him was
The Medical Clinic there,
It isn't even a hospital
And you sit on a leather chair,
When we finally got to Bungaleese
Grandpa could barely talk,
We said, ‘We'll get you an ambulance! '
‘No thanks, ' he growled, ‘I'll walk! '
29 August 2012
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