Enchanted Affairs

“The Night After Surgery”

 (A Visit from Nurse Badgett)

 By Larry Stanfel



‘twas the night after surg’ry

And all down the floor

The nurses were dozing

Like poor, weary whores


The drip bag was hung

On the pump pole with flair

In hopes that the victim

Soon would be fair


The patients were stuffed

With no care in their beds

And weird, morphine nightmares

Tormented their heads


And my friend sprouting tubes

And I in a chaise

Snored and tossed fitfully

In a half-conscious daze


When out in the hall there arose such a clatter

I fell off my chair to the floor very battered

Away towards the doorway I groped like a shrew

Flung back the bed curtain and tripped on a shoe


The dim, glaucous light from the dismal, green hall

Lent accents of illness to the hospital pall

And what to my sleep-robbed eyes gave a shock

But an ugly old dame in a Mickey Mouse frock


Her cart was laden with hoses and gadgets

I knew in a trice this was Night Nurse Badgett

As loud as a dump truck she smashed through the door

Snapped on ev’ry light and announced with a roar


“Your BP, your O2, your temp and your pulse

I’ll suck out your data, dump your pee hat, of course

I’ll wake you completely, crash ice in your glass

Perhaps siphon blood or ram tubes up your ass”


As Panzer divisions plunge into a fight

Nurse Badgett poured in to ruin the night

So up to the bed the wretched hag flew

Her cart full of torture, computer screens, too


And then in a twinkling I heard in the whirl

‘cross the hall a sick patient’s beginning to hurl

As I swallowed my own puke and turned around

Towards the sick bed Nurse Badgett sprang with a bound


She was dressed like a bad dream, this late-shift dud

And her clothes were all spattered with urine and blood

Syringes and needles were stuffed in her slacks

And she looked like a case of walking anthrax


Her eyes, how they narrowed and gleamed like de Sade’s

Her fat hands longed to be clutching birch rods

Her mean little mouth, her tongue like a sword

And the hairs on her chin were as stiff as a board


A cigarette butt fell out of her pack

And her slow, inept fingers were stained with tobacc

She had a hog’s head and a varicose belly

That worked overtime at the hospital deli


She was sour and sadistic, an icon of sorts

Right at home, I was sure, among rigor morts


The malefic eyebrows, the sneer on her face

Gave relief I was just visiting the place

She snapped at the patient gave pain with her work

Spread massive discomfort then turned like a jerk


And sticking a finger straight up her nose

And giving a grin at the sick person’s woes

She barged to the door, gave her cart a loud rattle

And made an exit like a herd of mad cattle


But I heard her exclaim in accents quite dour

“Grab some sleep, you putz, I’ll be back in an hour.”

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