except for a piece of tape over my wedding ring
a becoming easy-access hospital gown in green pastel
a fetching plastic hair cover
a rough hospital sheet
and my sense of humour
I lounge outside the O.R.
on the stretcher
thoughtfully provided by the hospital administration.
The conversation down the hall
is about vegetable gardens:
slugs seem to be taking over the lettuce;
ashes are recommended as a non-toxic remedy
as well as beer in a saucer.
I could use a beer about now,
and a hefty sandwich of any variety would do nicely.
My side by side ceiling inspectors on this occasion are
a nervous elderly lady who sighs
and a silent young woman who seems to be praying
I can hardly wait to engage the green pastel smothered
O.R. staff in clever banter and witty repartée
Soon it will be my pleasure to hop into the wide stirrups
and hang my gonads and meat
for the casual scrutiny of said pastel muffled ladies of the O.R.
and take a nap.
Finally, it is my turn
to be wheeled into the on-deck position
parallel to the wall of the O.R.
above me is a white board
with several scrawled notices of staff meetings
and recent memos
in a prominent uneven rectangle
the following catches my eye
and becomes part of my history:
“Meat pies are ready.”