The Last Friday

The Last Friday is a poetry editing group. Once a month, we post a poem and then offer feedback to the other poems on the Forum. We're a friendly but honest group. We value each other deeply and desire for every poet to be published or become famous.

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E. R. Trip


Posts : 702
Join date : 2011-09-12

E. R. Trip Empty E. R. Trip

Post  Pat on Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:55 pm

I'll take any kind of help.  Anything that disturbs you is of interest to me. This happened yesterday, so it is raw.  I tried it in 1st person first. 

E. R. Trip

When your doctor admits he doesn't know,
he sends you to E. R.

You don't mind the Triage Room
where the nurse sorts the needy from the desperate,
you don't mind the waiting room where people
turn and return.  You sit and watch the little boy
become a caterpillar under the chairs. You 
tolerate the butterfly needle sucking your blood,
take the x-rays, but next is the scan,
the scan with contrasting dyes.

Then you are on a gurney. The nurse explains 
she must use a fat needle, even for skinny veins.  
You hear her matter-of-fact I'm sorry,
following each blow-out. Frayed nerves.
You cling to Jesus.  You cannot move. You want to pee.
Instead, you grit teeth, squint eyes,
pray for her good luck or your quick death.
Another nurse steps in. She hits a vein.
Arm, burning like a fire-cracker. Someone takes 
the 30-second scan.
Vein collapses.

You breathe. Tidal anger, alive in you.
Bathroom. Hot packs. Warm blankets.

The E R doctor talks to you. Everything makes sense.
Still when you look down at the blue roses on your arm,
you feel the heat of a furnace in your face.
Tomorrow, you will scan your inner self
another way.
Dewell H. Byrd

Posts : 385
Join date : 2012-01-05
Age : 88
Location : Central Point, OR

E. R. Trip Empty E. R. TRIP (again?)

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:31 pm

I know this routine all too well.
Elsa suffers the battle of the needle, too.
This poem walks us through the E.R. realistically.
Loved the kid under the chairs.
TITLE?  Maybe the poem is more an "E. R. Experience"

Nicely done, well crafted and timely for Senior Citizens.

Posts : 635
Join date : 2011-05-21

E. R. Trip Empty As a revision Strategy

Post  tsukany on Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:10 pm


I wonder if you can take lines one and two and create an epigraph.  It would set the scene and create the tone in a different manner.

My second suggestion is to alternate the positive with the funny.  The first stanza sets a nice tone that I want to read for the rest of the poem.  (I too like the caterpillar image.  More of that is what I mean.)

I think that revision strategy will allow the poem to come to an end.  Right now it feels like it tells a story rather than vivify an experience.

I do like the blue roses.  Smile


Posts : 320
Join date : 2014-10-25
Age : 65
Location : North Little Rock

E. R. Trip Empty Re: E. R. Trip

Post  Karen on Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:48 pm

I like Todd’s suggestion of making lines 1 and 2 into an epigraph.  Perhaps a variation on the current title to avoid repetition?  State of Emergency, or the like?  On the nitpick front, I have found ER, omitting the periods, is the standard abbreviation for emergency room. 
The more I read this, the better I “like” it.  Strong stuff.  I urge you to put it away for a week or a month, then bring it back out to tune to its final version.  You’ve got a wealth of fresh feeling to work with here.

Posts : 702
Join date : 2011-09-12

E. R. Trip Empty Good feedback.

Post  Pat on Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:13 pm

I'll play with it.

Epigraph is a great idea.
I hear you on the funny.  Surely it is there, probably hiding from me.  Maybe the boy:  he was hyper.
Title will change.
I thank you for your great help.  
This was therapy for me.  : )

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