Emergency Blues: Poems from the night shift and other odd hours

by Cassandra Arnold

Come with me to the Emergency Room.

I wrote these poems over the space of a month in the Emergency Department of a major trauma hospital in Sydney, New South Wales.

In between patients, in the dark of night, on coffee break, or catching a moment of sun, I wrestled with what it meant to be the person everyone was leaning on, the one who was supposed to be strong and give answers, not questions of their own.

Being a doctor is a complex business. It relies on the scientific method and analytical thinking, but at its heart also lies compassion and the mystery of being human in the midst of pain.

The place I wrote about is Australia. Everything else is universal.