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The Healthcare Hydra

Full surgery – caseload queue surging out of the waiting room door
And curling down the corridor
Like some sick snake
Swallowing a cocktail of complaints
From Portnoy’s to the all-too-common cold;
Bemoaning (albeit quietly) it’s lot:
Patients waiting as patiently as impatience can permit
For prognosis or placebo –
Medicine or minor miracle.

Most seeming fit as fleas or fiddles
Yet harbouring some undiagnosed weakness or other
Within the bounds of their brick-and-mortared mortality,
Staring all blank and unfocused
At grey-washed walls and faint-faded woodcuts
As mute as the naked hat-stand
Wasting away in the corner like a leper reminder
That sometimes there is no cure.

Every now and then the doctor decapitated this unhealthy Hydra
But it merely grew another head just as sullen as the former.