A Medical Education
By Glenn Colquhoun
for Dr Peter Rothwell
In obstetrics I learnt that a woman opens swiftly like an elevator door.
The body wriggles free like people leaving an office on a wet afternoon.
In medicine I learnt that the body is the inside of a watch.
We hunch carefully over tables with blunt instruments.
In paediatrics I learnt that the body is a bird.
I leave small pieces of bread in fine trails.
In geriatrics I saw that the neck becomes the shape of an apple core.
In intensive care I discovered that the body is a number. `
The sick sweat like schoolboys studying maths before a test.
In orthopaedics I found that the body can be broken.
Bones make angles under skin as though they were part of a collapsed tent.
In anaesthetics I saw people hang on narrow stalks like ripe apples.
But in the delivery suite I learnt to swear.