Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Life As A Hospital

I have six or seven stories in all,
probably less than that when
you consider some stories are
given over to the same gut wrenching
maladies we all endure with time,
hopefully in semi-private rooms.


You can go from messy maternity
to messy geriatrics by elevator,
but there is no real connection here.
The door slides open and there
you are: beaming women being
wheeled about with babies wrapped
up in towels wearing little ski caps or
old men parked alone on wheels
against long walls, but going no where,
tied into their chairs with sheets so
they don’t fall out, kerplop!


No, my elevators are for visitors and
these washed up come-latelies are
even warned against using them
in an emergency. But life is a
slo-motion emergency, and if your
life is a hospital, well, you soon find
out elevators are pretty useless.


I have two Fire Escapes, though,
one at either end that lands on
every floor and at the top of one
of these deep wells a young man
sat once and sobbed over the death
of his son taken in a rite of elected
surgery – one he knew little of
because it wasn’t then, nor is it now,
his religion, or so he says.


Oh, the stairs here are wide for techs
to move beds and equipment up
and down, but there’s nothing of poetry
or even remembrance here, just unadorned
cement and metal.


But if your life is a hospital you can tune
in the young man’s sobs – even forty-years on.
If your life is a hospital you can still hear.

FG 16 Feb 2012

All rights reserved by the author Forrest Greenwood.

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