999 Monk

it’s easy being a monk in a monastery
holy bones in a gilded reliquary
a simple chapel that overlooks
startling cliffs with crows and rooks
dusty latin from dusty books
comfortable sandals
tapers and candles
luminous eyes on painted panels

try being a monk in A&E
3AM on a Saturday
biblical scenes of evil and good
up to your beards in vomit and blood
sirens in the neighbourhood
aprons and cannulas
wisecracking janitors
flatlining prayers on cardiac monitors

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