No Sirens Please

Before becoming a caregiver, I
used to think that growing old was
done ‘gracefully’ or that one
just ‘faded into the sunset.’

I’ve since realized that for some
it is a series of real or perceived
illnesses or medical emergencies
strung together like prayer beads.

Sometimes the ambulance ride is not
an emergency but an outing.
A respite from the repetition of Bingo,
Trivial Pursuit and the CBC News.

No flashing lights. No sirens please!

Propelled onto the Emergency Room stage
crowded with learned young doctors
Breathing machines
Agile, competent nurses
Monitoring machines
A host of hospital technicians
Ultrasound, X-ray
and other diagnostic machines.

The Senior, a supporting role star, fitted
in among the triage of life’s emergencies…
Car accidents, heart attacks, severed limbs
stabbing and gunshot wounds.

Hours later, tests often return negative.
Then the tired elderly patient is
reassured that nothing is wrong
at least nothing … but old age.

The return ambulance journey begins,
back to the regimented routine of the
Senior’s complex, but, contentedly clutching
the verbal prescription – Death Is Not Imminent.

No flashing lights. No sirens please!

~ J. E. Dyrholm ~
[ Poem Back-drop ]