Two poems about diagnosis and surgery of a cataract

by Mrs Kay COTTON

In June, Dr. Benois assesses
a cataract during Lockdown

The moment he was taking calls I made
the appointment - had to shower, cover
my hair, wear a face mask to make the grade;
only then permitted to step over

the clinic's red chained threshold. Carte Vitale,
name of Medecin Traitante, my home address,
and date of birth, detailed as usual.
(The secretary clearly highly stressed).

He was an absolute dream, Dr. B.
"Sit, close your mouth, you're not at the Dentist.
Quite still, don't blink. Mmmm, this one is ready.            

Now, fix a date for the anaesthetist.
Pay with cash. We have no facility
for cards. The Op? November. Go steady".
In November, Dr. Benois removes
a cataract during Lockdown

The night before, clean sheets; use Betadine,  
shower twice, repeat on waking - don't eat,
but hourly, thrice, a drop of Atropine
in the eye. At the Clinic, Nurse will greet
you, check date of birth, record vital signs,
supply paper pyjamas, mask, hair net.

Prepped in theatre, Dr B. takes time
to explain the procedure, tete a tete.

I can hear my heart through a fingertip.
Psychedelic lights flare, swirl in my eye.
"Amazing". I murmur. "Please don't chatter.
Your optic nerve is still drugged; cataract's
out, implant's in and there's cake and coffee.
It delights me that you enjoyed your trip".