The Valkyrie

August 13, 2020

Wake up, arise from the fog, and face a new post-op day.

POETRY OF THE TIMES

-in Norse mythology Valkyries were female figures who decided who would live or die in battle.

Six-four, three hundred pounds,

she rouses each sleepless post-op patient

curled in sheet-tossed Hill Rom beds,

their minds blurred from pain and Percocet

when she belts out her sunrise chant:

Good morning, Honey, I’m Miss Dee,

and I’m gonna bring the most beautiful

breakfast you’ve ever seen. Why Honey,

I’ve got grits, biscuits, bacon, and ham,

flapjacks, waffles, omelets, and eggs,

coffee, croissants, and a selection of teas.

So what will it be that you want from Miss Dee?

And the patients she has chosen to live

squint into her sunlight and groan their orders,

hungers revived, aroused to do battle

with a sweet and tempting world.

Dr Berlin is Instructor in Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.