The Patient Has An Undiagnosed Placenta Praevia by Natalia Spencer

I have revived an old man who pressed the bell & was looking
through frosted glass of Death’s hallway
& I walked home smaller past a stone ingress
of a pauper’s graveyard

It’s not much to look at ground unkempt
nettles for bees, a choking lilac set
on a jumbled mound of dog rose
wrapping bodies who had no name

On the next round I see a woman swollen like a rose hip
she has come far although there’s nothing
to pin point why her child is born blue no breath no chance
as we slice & stitch more grief in

And I sleepwalk home her cool limp shape follows
she wears my stethoscope a red ribbon for a Welsh man
who swore labour should not end
in a small box & black footprints


Author’s note:

Adam Kay spent six years training and another six years on ward rotation. The above poem reflects a typical day. As he says his patient should have had an elective caesarean. He resigned from his post as Junior Doctor in 2010.

7 thoughts on “The Patient Has An Undiagnosed Placenta Praevia by Natalia Spencer

      • Talia, I didn’t realize hospitals and clinics are losing open hours because of staffing issues. The problems for us in the US are different than you face in the UK. Our system is like a pyramid scheme in that only those at the top are given access to the best care money can buy. What is devilishly evil about it is the middle is pitted against the bottom as if we are playing a zero sum game. I do not use the word evil lightly.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Ronald I have US followers. Often I read of their struggle with insurance companies in order to get the treatment they need. Our system is reliant on government funding which has systematically been cut year on year. One assumes the outcome will be privatisation. This will lead to a similar system as you have in the USA.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s