Within These Walls
By Valerie Muriel Mckinley
Published: May 14, 2009
Updated: May 14, 2009

Hushed coolness belie the reality;
with poise and purpose they move
about their duties professionally,
without panic or protest; no waves
dare bestir this ocean of serenity.

The amber glow of ever present lights
reflect in polished surfaces
of pristine floors. The distant tones
of phones ringing relentlessly
as voices slush gently; sometimes

breaking playfully off eau du nil walls.
Antiseptic odours pervade the air
pleasantly re-assuring. Sighs, some soft
slightly anxious, others hard edged, with pain
complain, gurgling like an eddy.

At the nurses station the doctors
come and go like Gulls with the ebb
and flow of the tide; diving through
stacks of files as if they were juicy
tit bits to be devoured instead of
case notes to be studied; decisions made.