Poems of the Week

Surgeon Emergency

by Julia Griffin

“Austria: Doctor fined for amputating wrong leg of patient …
In court, the surgeon said there had been a flaw in the chain of command in the operating theatre.
When asked why she had marked the right leg and not the left, she said: ‘I just don’t know’.”
BBC News

I just don’t know. I mostly catch
Such slips before I make a scratch;
Don’t think it usual, I beg;
It really takes one down a peg—
I would have loved to reattach.

The papers had a field-day, natch:
It’s things like this on which they latch;
Do chefs not sometimes drop an egg?
I just don’t know.

Believe me, if I could, I’d patch,
But sadly, flesh won’t act like thatch
(Cf. the case of Silas Wegg),
And since we had to take a leg,
Some might prefer two sides that match;
I just don’t know.