Alexander R. “Lex” Fullarton

NIGHTWATCH ON THE WARDS

So you thinks you’ve seen carnage, you blokes from up the front,
Well when it comes to heartbreak, you’re just not in the hunt;
For it’s nightwatch on the ward, that’s when your heart will fairly break,
As you know that come the morning, there’ll be empty beds to make:

But the endless flow of human wrecks rolls on, ever unabated,
For the evil monster at the front, never will be sated;
The Generals can’t, the people don’t, and the soldiers never, spread the word,
It’s only those on nightwatch know, these ghosts that tread the ward:

On these the relentless flow of misery, must take a heavy toll,
As they try to cheat St Peter, from filling out his roll
But Death is even present, with his sickle in his hand,
As he gathers souls in hundreds, to head to the promised land:

In a world of all its manliness, of rifles, guts and glory,
It’s the women of the nightwatch, that really know the story;
We’ve heard the world of heroes, and the hands that hold the sword,
But little of these angles, the ones that patrol the ward:

They carry out a mongrel job, that no hero can refute,
So let us take a moment, to stand in silence mute;
And reflect for here a moment, as most men seldom do,
In deep respect for our women folk, for they are ANZACs too:

Author’s Note: This year I have penned “Nightwatch on the Wards” in Honour of our nurses who do so much and witness so much carnage, often without any recognition. I feel somewhat humbled when we think that they have probably been forgotten more than anyone in this war torn world.