It's a crap shoot,
what humanity the trauma bay
will deliver during call.
It ends up being four
their arrival proclaimed with the same letter,
not quite as acute as the As
but sometimes scarier for the enigma.
It can be anything,
these trauma activations.
College boys full of bravado
and nearly a fifth of Smirnhoff,
brought in by ambulance:
in this corner the contender,
man vs escalator.
Or next, glimpses into shadows,
underworlds of poverty and scandal,
rape and rival gangs,
sobering the spirit as
cops quietly ask questions,
waiting answers from bloody mouths.
Commonly, it's a motor vehicle collision-
not an accident
none of those in the trauma world.
Fender benders, T-bones, prolonged extrications,
a macabre box of chocolates.
When Lincoln Navigators meet aging Escorts,
the human body responds in incredible ways.
Lucky to be alive, we'll tell the parents,
even as the ventilator breaths for her,
as her broken bones lay in traction,
as her shattered kidney fights for salvation,
pelvis restored and bladder sutured,
knowing her teenage life is forever altered.
The best the scalpel repairs, the scars remain eternal.
9 April 2012