Between the deepening snores
Of my neighbor next door
And the woman across
from me ‘s Pain,

Emergency bells,
calls out in the night
Bed pans that need
to be changed.

Those delicate creatures
who sleep through the day
Crash their way into the night
One-eyed, one-legged pirate vampires
Ready to put up a fight.

IV pumps, blood pressure monitors
Dilation machines lay rhythm down
Cries from behind pulled curtains
churn the ocean of stories,
the underbelly of sound,

It’s morning again
The neighbor who snored
Complained that she couldn’t sleep
Another one is sobbing
She wants to go home and won’t eat.

Then in a flash it is quiet
Order temporarily restored
Evening song in a hospital ward
Promises not to leave the listener bored.