Gotten in the way of criminals
in a tenement eastern city
the poisoned railroad worker
survives a casual ride to hospital
for intravenous feeding and rest
but otherwise left to his fate
while waiting in line for x-rays
faints dead in the wheelchair
then, rising above his head,
sees the grumpy nurses
trundle him by gurney
to wait in Emergency
where the prone position
restarts his heart,
returning his body
to how many more years
of misadventure?

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John Talbot Ross