Wretched. 11.24pm, 16 February, 2012.

Canberra Hospital

The slouching sack drips, drips and drips, quenching her shaken body.  Skilful livid puncture. Needle knife. Metal and vein. My eyes crave the sight of the wound again, but it is taped fast. Drip and drip. Re-hy-dr-ation. Stillness stiller here behind the curtain, after after after the heaving waiting room – Emergency  (too full too slow) – the weary night clinic (she’s not responding, we’ll write a letter) – Emergency at last reading us, running us down the hall. Drip and drip this sack of saline and us, waiting – the healing sleep, dry lips dark scooped eyes and time so urgent slowing on the clock face as the story of this night becomes a story (less terrifying)  in this moment.  I think of the glow of the lights on the edge of another town and her mother driving to us, still far away, but nearer – she and her sister will be here before morning.