This is a poem I wrote for my 4th year Ethics module-3rd Term submission.
Four walls. All I see is four walls.
The paint on the walls are peeling.
No more government funding for these four walls.
My bed is broken.
I have to hoist myself up in order to get onto bed.
It’s difficult for me to move, there’s pain in my legs.
There’s only one set of mobile stairs for my ward.
I’m told not to leave my room under any circumstances.
What if theres a fire?
I have *scabies.
My food is brought to me by women.
Women clad in blue aprons and gloves.
I watch their actions.
Hand washing before entering.
Hand washing after leaving.
They feed me.
I am grateful.
My watch bleeps on the hour; every hour.
My favourite person comes at 1.
He brings me this granny-walker.
He gives me gloves.
I can walk again, albeit it be just between these
Six doctors all around me.
I can count to 100! So I know there’s six.
They tell me not to hold Derrick close to my face.
Derrick is my teddy, I love him very much.
He comforts me when my eczema burns.
It burns 24/7.
I know ‘cause I know all the days of the week!
I’m in this room and I’m not allowed to leave
I wanna play, but the six doctors say I cannot touch another.
They think I have *“HErrpus”.
I do everything the doctors say.
I sleep with socks on my hands.
A spider-man mask on my face
And wet bandages on my body.
Every day I bath in *“konnis crystals”.
I wanna go home
But mostly I wanna play.
I wanna play outside and run.
Even though running makes me itchy, it’s still fun.
I wanna play pat-a-cake!
Instead I’m in this room.
I count the walls every day.
The number never changes
It’s always four.
The first voice in the poem is a woman, lost between the realm of four walls. Her “favourite person” being her physiotherapist. She knows that every day without fail that at “1pm” she is giving some hope and is able to get through another day of waiting within those four walls. With the clock striking 1pm, she is also giving some freedom through mobility even if its just within that square.
*Scabies- Scabies is an itchy, highly contagious skin disease caused by an infestation by the itch mite Sarcoptes scabiei.Direct skin-to-skin contact is the mode of transmissio. Can be spread through sexual intercourse as well (Stoppler, 2014).
The second voice in the poem, Four walls is a five year old child who is having an extended stay in hospital due to her worsening skin condition- eczema. The child is repeating words she has heard, not knowing that she is pronouncing them incorrectly.
*HErrpus; Herpes- Any of a group of virus diseases caused by herpes viruses, affecting the skin (often with blisters) or the nervous system (Oxford dictionary, 2014).
*Konnis Crystals; Potassium permanganate nickname Condy’s crystals
Potassium permanganate treats many skin infections, including eczema, canker sores, dermatitis, acne, vaginal thrush and vulvovaginitis, also treats allergic reactions involving hair dyes (Wasserman, 2014).
Oxford Dictionary. (2014). Herpes. Retrieved from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/herpes on the 28th August, 2014
Stoppler. M.C. (2014). Scabies facts. Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/scabies/article.htm on the 31st August, 2014
Wasserman, R. (2014). Medical Uses for Potassium Permanganate. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/247213-medical-uses-for-potassium-permanganate/ on the 28th August, 2014