A Perfectly Routine Call

Woman injured, perhaps a fall,
A fracas? Who knows –
Perhaps a brawl?

Over the phone the nurse tells all:
Neck injuries…
She’s in a collar:
I call Flying Doctors: 
Eight thousand dollar.
 

I take notes: a punch to the mouth
And she fell;
Got a kicking to the head
And the belly as well
 

Her neck is tender
C2-3, where the cord is slender
She can feel, can move…
That doesn’t prove
We’ll mend her.
 

I take it all down, arrange the flight.
In afterthought,
I ought
Ask ‘Who? How?’ – at least:
It was a male. I called the police.
 

I take notes, recording in full
The news that’s not news,
That minds like mine 
Refuse
To take it in at all
 
Nurse gives name:
Like a punch to my mouth
Then a kicking,
Shame like flame
To burn my aorta –
 
The name – that ordinary name –
Is the same 
That we gave
Our newborn 
Daughter.