Homage to Hospitals

All hail to public hospitals
Which treat us at no cost at all
Come forth and heed the homage call
Give thanks and praise

Admire their shiny corridors
The wonder drugs in well-stocked stores
And colour-coded wings and floors
And curtained bays

Where patients’ injuries are healed
By specialists in every field
Equipment-laden trolleys wheeled
In urgency

To rooms where skillful medics stand
And scalpels rise at their command
You fall asleep in wondrous hands
In surgery

Cathedrals where the sick may throng
To scream and moan their evensong
To come out weak but then grow strong
With aftercare

So come ye to our hallowed shrine
Bring broken bones and twisted spine
Partake of medicines divine
Beyond compare

It’s so much more than just a fort
This temple Branson thinks he’s bought
The profit bug that he has caught
To cut and trim

So he can keep his filthy paws
Clean off our holy corridors
And keep our swinging theatre doors
Away from him

And recommit thyself from hence
To fight off foes, from where, from whence
Come form brigades in their defence
and give no ground

Be vigilant against attacks
From governmental cutters’ axe
From snake oil salesmen, crooks and quacks
Let’s raise our arms and watch our backs
And stop those bastards in their tracks
So when you’ve cuts or breaks or cracks
Your hospital has not relapsed
– It’s still around

This poem is included in the book, The Big J vs The Big C: issues, experiences and poems in the battle against breast cancer

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