Fountain in front of Old Manor Hospital

Bourne Ward – a poem by Mike Doherty




Sunday afternoon on Bourne Ward
Scottish staff nurse called it
The back shift
Telly was never off
Kettle was hardly off
Big pot of tea at the table
Staff were gathered round
In the day room
A tea break tradition
All was calm
It often was
Maybe there was a noisy
Excitable admission
Maybe there wasn’t
This Sunday so far
There wasn’t
Five staff
The standby team
Two calmed down patients
Went out for a walk
Escorted by two staff
Door was in unlocked mode
No risky absconders
This Sunday afternoon
Three staff remained around
The tea pot
At that point the calmest
Place on the planet
With a slow clock
There were biscuits
But time passed quicker
With some juicy gossip
To chew
Really, those two again
Surely not, oh yes
They were seen
Or one was, going in
Leaving a long time later
Another satisfying secret
Revealed to all
Around the tea pot
Phone rang
A patient in Crane ward
Had upset the apple cart
And was being marched over
For a spell on Bourne
And if required a calming ampoule
Tea break over.

By Mike Doherty


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About Mike
Mike Doherty is a retired Mental Health Nurse with 50% Gaelic blood. Words and the power of meanings behind them have been his life and love. Free time leads him to poetry late in life.


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