“Mr Jones…”, someone drones.
The consultants are the only ones consulted,
Although the ENT surgeons keep cutting in.
“This one’s not healing. Transfer to Ealing.”
The anatomist may do the body of the work
But it is the pathologist who focuses on the details.
“Mrs Ryder: intermittent stridor.”
The radiologists show everyone the bigger picture
Although the nurses, now sitting silent, might be more qualified to do so.
“White cells seem low. Stop the chemo.”
Similarly, the speech and language therapists say nothing
And the physios don’t move a muscle.
“Tumour’s enlarging.” “Where’s the margin?”
Some doctors are called away, leaving when they have nothing more to offer,
But the palliative carers stay until the end.
“Mr Brady." "So, consider radio?”
And for three hours, at the back of the room,
The students study the insides of their eyelids.