Friday, June 04, 2010


A simple operation
As operations go
We make a tiny cut
Remove your cataracted lens
Slip in a new one

I am nervous. Several
trips to the loo. I’m cold
Eye drops dilate the eye
My pupil is a big, black yolk
I’m watching the clock

A porter takes me upstairs
A hot June day. The view –
Beyond white roofs, the sea
I’m on the table. Don’t cross your legs
The nurse chides gently

Drops anaesthetise my eye
A ring holds my eyelid
An injection numbs
Some things a patient rarely sees
His own procedure

I’m wired up. Peeps and hums
People bustle about
My face is covered
Lights dance before my blurred vision
I’m holding my breath

Breath evenly! And do not move,
It makes my job harder,
The surgeon says. Half way.
I concentrate on keeping still
Time crawls through shadows

A nurse holds my hand
A human connection
In that bright place of knives and chrome
It’s done, the surgeon says, It was tricky
I’m wheeled away

I’m back with Jill. The nurse
Brings us tea and toast
Instructions – keep your eye patch
on tonight. Four weeks of drops
Going home. Sunshine


Roger Stevens said...

The poem probably needs some work. Only had the op yesterday.

wastedpapiers said...

Brings it alive being so fresh in your mind- down on the page. I had no idea you were suffering with cataracts ( just the one? ). I have to go to the opticians on Monday for a check up. I've lost my glasses and need to get some new ones for cinema and theatre etc.

Ceels Warren said...

Good to have drafted it while the experience is still fresh in your mind ('s eye)!

Nicole Braganza said...

gosh..this made me so nervous and full of fear.

Roger Stevens said...

Hi Nicole. Don't worry. The operation went well. And now I can see well out of both eyes!

wastedpapiers said...

I found my glasses the day after my eye check. they had tried to stow away in the boot of the car for some reason?

Jilly Jargon said...

You were very brave, darling. And the poem brings it all back vividly - especially the toast. Now, just learn not to move your eye at 100 blinks a second when I'm trying to put in your eye drops and your eye will be better than ever in no time - and other cliches. xxx