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GODDEN, Salena

The Saturday Shift
He was in the pub every day;

we watched his sallow deterioration.

He was swollen-bellied and cold all summer,

a stale perfume of decay,

like a snappy threadbare dog.

But we were used to him, we loved him in our way,

and the fireplace is empty and strange

without him standing there now.

Cervical Smear

Open your legs, poke your inner flower.

That’s it, lady. Did you bathe or shower

before you came to surgery today?

Looks like you should have, shall we say.

Now see these metal razor-sharp utensils,

As wide as sellotape around one hundred and fifty pencils.

Now, that’s to clamp you like a car jack.

Just relax, lie on your back.

Ooh, lady! You are a wide one.

Have you had children or just a good run?

Let me shove in this splintered wood,

ram it in carelessly, oh you are good.

Now breathe slowly while I insert

some broken glass covered in dirt,

and twist and spring catch it wide,

with fourteen mirrors and spoons inside.

There you go, slip back into your clothes.

I place my glasses on my nose.

You’ll have the results in a few days.

Try to use lube and not mayonnaise.

Now, what exactly seemed to be the trouble?

A little itch? That’s your shaving stubble.

Now, take the Pill until you’re forty.

See you then, if you’re not naughty.

Next patient please, nurse, there’s a sweet,

As I mop Vaseline off my plastic sheet

and sterilise my razor-sharp sticks of lead.

Hello lady, hello lady, hop on the bed.