Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 161–161 | Cite as

Vaccination Day

Three of Five Pieces
  • Malcolm Parker


Public Health Cataract 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

They enter

in curves and stoops

limping and tapping

a file of bare arms

creased faces uplifted

red eyelids pouting

eyes curtained in cataract.

The syringes are magazined at his hip.

A pinch of skin

in a chill autumn morning

a stinging spreads out

at the borders of shoulders

the grim supplication

for all his attention

the trembling smile

on his remembering a name.

Swabs spent in buckets

the names all collected

a shifting and ambling

across the lawns to their lives

on small porches

and in dim echoing cells.

Washing his hands

of the short easy morning

those bird-bone arms

grow stars of David

in the injected wheals

and the upturned heads

pull at his neck

for a sparklet of mercy

he prodding them down

into the frost

from the stinking trains

at the point of more serious weaponry.

They are a herd

fanning out to their winding down days

dark-eyed ones shuffling blind

to other deaths, gassed and limed.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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