First day of surgery; my teeth are ch-chattering

My hands are both shaking and my pink clogs are clattering

I’ve heard all the stories, and I know what they say

But I know nothing of surgery; that’s why I’m afraid

Because surgeons are scary, especially that one

Who calls all of us “stupid”, and thinks women are “dumb”

And, with all of these thoughts, my mind is a blur

For, at the end of the day, I’m still a little girl

But I get my assignment, though my whole body’s shaking

The ground seems to spin, as if the earth itself’s quaking

But somehow I manage to find room 20A

With a patient who’s here for with right quadrant pain

She says she wants surgery, wants it ASAP

She rambles for a bit, and then questions me

She asks about the surgeons, if they’re up for the task

I said, “Ma’am, believe me. You’ll have only the best.”

I cringe in my heart as I wonder if it’s true

How can I know they’re the best when it’s not yet Day Two?!

But I calm down the patient with happy little lies

And tell her she’s fine, that she’s not going to die

And when she decides to have the surgery at last

I exit the room with a shudder and gasp

I give myself a moment to calm myself down

I debrief with the doctor, then turn back around

I find the room again, knock before going in,

My eyes meet the patient’s; her lips form a grin

But as soon as the doctor walks into the room

The patient says, “Doctor? Is that ‘best surgeon’ you?”

“I’m not sure about best,” says the doc, with a smile,

“But I’ll do my best to help you for the next little while.

I hear you want surgery! Well, that’s the part that I do.

And, with our whole team here, we’ll help you pull through.”

“Actually, I don’t know,” the patient says, really fast.

“I think I’ll reconsider. I’ve had surgery in the past.

He really was quite nice, one of the best I’ve ever had

I think I’ll go back to him, and see what he says.”

“Okay,” says the doctor, with a heart-warming smile

Okay, she says, and we leave the room single-file.

But, just as I’m leaving, the patient calls out to me

“Dearie,” she says softly, “Just a minute, if you please!

What it wrong with this place? What strangeness is this?

Something here’s clearly wrong, something’s oddly amiss!

I won’t have the surgery here, although it’s hurting

Though I’d have it right now if the surgeon wasn’t a woman!”

Oh, my heart stopped there, and I felt my tongue freeze

Because the surgeon’s a woman? That’s not a disease!

What strange world is this, where care is refused

Because the surgeon’s a woman? What a backwards excuse!

What a day to begin with, with a patient who wouldn’t

Have her surgery done here

because the surgeon’s a woman!


2 thoughts on “A Woman!

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