'the three colours of tired'


by Pete Smith, 2014



A poem.



Who cares who I am.

I could be any one of thousands

On any one day

Any one night

Working through the clock

12 mid day passes sight unseen

6 PM, At least I know where I've been

22:00 I'm ramping it up

Cardiac case. Just my luck!

2 AM and the blood's running fast

Checking the numbers as the units fly past

At 4 on the dot my brain's winding down

Home time approaching as ICU comes around.

I look at the people

In the room we have shared

These past few fast hours, and i want to declare:


We are all in it together, but we are also very much on our own

We work as a team, but we suffer our pain alone.


The nurses, the doctors, perfusionist too:

We do what we do because that's what we do


I limp out the door with my cabcharge in hand

I get in the taxi and settle in for the ride The driver looks shattered, rubs his temples to keep the fog from descending on his brain. I chatter to keep HIM awake. Oh, the irony of the situation! If I no longer make sense and I seem to be rambling its because that is how my brain is functioning. The neurons seem scrambled as though I am drunk, but I haven't drunken a sozzling thing! I settle into a fitful sleep, not restful at all because I am STILL on-call, and my body is screaming a pain of its own, a fatigue that is aching from my neck to my back to my legs to the very core of my being!

I am crushed.

I am smashed.

I am so tired that I can no longer rest.


And though I am not alone,

Those who watch over me from a dispersonified distance cannot understand

And so

I, me,

I must suffer my pain in the here and now,

And among the dull ensuing formless tasteless days:



Pete Smith, 2014