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Feather's Miscellany: A Nurse's Tale

Some jobs just can't be rushed, as John Waddington-Feather's sprightly poem reveals.

A comely nurse once told me this cute ditty,
but to save her blushes and her true identity
I’ll not refer to her as I narrate her tale
of student days, when she was young and hale.
‘Twas when Time and Motion’ was in vogue
to save folk time and effort, until a rogue
called Mischief led their best laid plans awry
as the student nurses found when they did try
to ease their labours on the ward one day -
the result was utter chaos, I must say.
They had to wash and dress some ageing girls –
of eighty thereabouts – and comb their curls;
in general make them ready for the day ahead
and get them spruce and sprightly out of bed;
brushing clean their dentures at their side,
placed in pots before they went to sleep each night.
Dear old dames they were – if rather gummy
till they had their teeth in firm and yummy,
cleansed of all the gooey pieces which they chewed
at mealtimes, when their gnashers were well used..
The nursing twain spent hours brushing every pair
until one day there dawned the bright idea
to soak the dentures in a bowl of water nice,
then clean them all together in a trice.
Alas, that imp called Mischief foiled their plan,
for when the dentures sat all spic and span,
ready to be fitted to their owners’ gums,
the nurses stared in horror, quite struck dumb!
They couldn’t tell the dentures one from t’other,
quite stressed they were with all the bother
finding out whose ladies’ teeth was which.
Each gleaming set was tried, then switched
again until they’d reached their rightful gums
and let the old dears sit in peace upon their bums.
But then, alas, with all the fitting done,
inside the bowl a solitary pair sat all alone,
smiling back at them! They never did
discover who the owner was, but hid
them in the bathroom as a spare;
and never ever more at work did dare
a ‘Time and Motion Study’ to work fast,
but brushed the dentures one by one as in the past.

John Waddington-Feather ©


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