Day 2. The challenge is to write a poem about the road not taken – about a choice of mine that has “made all the difference,” and what might have happened had I made a different choice.
This photo is of my Mum
Once upon a time
when I was a child
I wanted to be a nurse,
just like my Mum.
I admired her tenacity
and her strength.
People told me that
she was kind.
She didn’t always understand my pain
but never mind.
She was soft and squishy
to the touch
and so loveable
but she had her own pain
and I only understood that later
in my life.
When I was a tender 18 years old
I went on the wards
of a large General hospital in Harare,
I became a cadet nurse.
I saw sad things
things that made me physically sick.
I saw a woman cry hysterically
because she had just given birth
to a still-born baby.
I looked at its lifeless body
in a bed-pan.
I’ve never forgotten that image.
I consoled her.
I helped an old lady clean up her bed,
she was incontinent
She told me she would never forget me,
I never forgot her!
I held a bucket for someone
who couldn’t stop vomiting
I wanted to do the same.
I cared for and fed a stroke victim
who couldn’t move
she could only swallow.
People talked about her imminent death
in front of her.
One day I saw a tear roll down her cheek.
I knew she was still there,
I could feel her,
others thought she was gone!
I felt like a skivvy cleaning up messes
doing things I never imagined I would do.
I heard stories of soldiers
who had been badly injured
screaming out in the darkness
waiting to die.
It wasn’t as glamorous
as I had made myself believe.
I didn’t meet the man of my dreams
I didn’t even look good in my nurse’s uniform
and I couldn’t stand the sight of blood!
It had just been a childish fantasy.
I phoned my Mum from a call box
and told her that I wanted to quit
she said give it three months
but it didn’t change anything.
I hated every single minute,
I was lonely,
I cried every day.
I quit at the end of the three months
and went to secretarial college.
I worked in a bank for most of my life
I hated it.
I have often wondered what I could have become.
After having kids I learned how to cope
with blood and vomit
just like every Mother does.
I think I would have made a kind
and compassionate nurse,
even in spite of my squeamishness.
I could have gone into psychiatry.
Psychology has always been an interest of mine.
I’ve read a lot of books
on how the mind works.
It was never to be though
and I chose a different path.
I have learned not to have any regrets
but rather to blossom where I’m planted
it’s all part of my evolution…
I also have the belief like John Lennon…
“everything works out in the end and if it doesn’t it’s not the end”…