I've Been in the Wars
I've Been in the Wars
© Gregory North, 2005

I've just come out of hospital; oh I've been in the wars.
I've got these awful aches and pains, so just you hold those doors!
Oh, I've had such a dreadful time, its lucky I'm alive.
Its only through my wits and skill I managed to survive.
You say you've had a bad time, well that's nought compared to me.
Be quiet while I talk will you, and where's my cup of tea?

They left me waiting fifteen months before I got a bed.
If waiting any longer, then I may well have been dead!
Then when I got admitted, they made me feel like a crim,
by asking stupid questions, like they thought that I was dim.
With gloves and swabs they gave me some obnoxious kind of test
and treated me as if I was a common garden pest!

They took away my clothing in a most distasteful way
and put me in a ghastly gown – my rear was on display!
And then, for more embarrassment, the ward they put me in,
was full of men with noxious gas and no self discipline!
At night they all made noises – grunts and groans and snoring too,
and one would leave the TV on, just trying to outdo.

When finally I got to sleep – the nurses did their rounds!
They shone their torches, gave out pills and made disruptive sounds.
Those cursed beeping test machines for BP, temp and pulse
were bad enough to hear, but made the bloke next door convulse.
Then just before the change of shift, like seagulls as they dine,
the nurses gathered just outside to gossip, bitch and whine.

At crack of dawn, the new shift came and drew each curtain back.
The whole thing was a cruel joke - an unprovoked attack!
"Good morning dear, how are you?" the nurse bellowed in my ear.
"Not deaf thank you, just sleep deprived from being stuck in here!"
"Oh never mind, we're short on beds, you won't be here for long.
Your operation's on today – provided nothing's wrong."

They wheeled me into theatre and the questions came again:
"Now what's your name? Where are you? What's your operation then?"
I thought, "My goodness. Don't they know? My life is in their hands!"
You'll find that they're all hopeless, stupid, no one understands!
And through my operation, well, they did not have a clue!
I had to wake myself up and then show them what to do!

It's just as well I did that, or I'd not be here today.
Oh, I'd be pushing daisies up if they'd had it their way!
Now I take thirty pills a day, I rattle when I walk.
And you all think you've got it tough, good heavens, you should talk.
None of your operations, medications, scars or sores,
compare with my experience, oh I've been in the wars!

Gregory North

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© Gregory North 2010. Photos by Andrew Bosman and Gregory North. Updated 
August 2010