Getting Undressed

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It’s the familiarity of the hospital gown,
the talk of white socks. My name written
as a new born, the constant confirmation
of date of birth, the need to be sure who I am.
It doesn’t get any easier to pronounce
my consent to procedures I claim to understand.

When I look at my insides on television,
I don’t recognise myself in those magnified walls
they’re considering removing. I have no idea
what I’m looking at. The nurse says
it’s a wonderful drug, you won’t remember a thing.

But it has all come back to me,
the pictures on the ceiling, the long rolling shiver
down a corridor I could walk if they’d let me,
the swinging of the doors and the little bump,
the sweet relief of putting my own clothes back on.

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