Surely this is more a calling than a job. The doldrums of the nightshift
pierced with the odd life-threatening injury, applying pressure to a
gaping wound. Their nurses’ shoes clip-clopping down the halls, the
thoughts of patients’ suffering or dead following them back home.
Surely they know that life is random, how death can creep up on the
innocent. But how their instincts can sometimes pull spirits back
from the brink into their bodies. Like midwives to the spirit. In that
moment, do they forget the training and think, if I do this, perhaps
they will live? Can you train instinct? I’m not sure. They see it all: the
birth, the death, the vomit , the blood, the shock, the diseased, the
perturbed, the pain, the smiles. I see them pressing their uniforms
for the next shift, washing their hands with a soap that makes their
from A Portable Paradise (Peepal Tree Press, 2019), © Roger Robinson 2019, used by permission of the author and the publisher.