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'A place called Ward 3'


A nursing student explores a family member’s end-of-life care and experiences in the form of a poem.

As I’m wheeled into a lift,

People staring at me,

They say I’m off to a place,

A place called Ward 3.


As the doors crash open,

It’s the smell that hits me,

Is this the place,

The place called Ward 3?


I’m put in a bed,

Strangers all around me,

This can’t be the place,

The place called Ward 3.


These strangers are old,

Nothing like me.

I’m young, fit and healthy.

There’s nothing wrong with me.

There must be a mistake,

This isn’t the place.

Ward 3 is not for me.


As I’m washed in bed

By people who don’t know me

They put this thing called a pad on me.

I can get up,

Just you wait and see.

I need to get out of this place called Ward 3.


Night time is worst

All this noise around me.

Why are people shouting?

I’m tired you see.

Can’t people see this isn’t the place,

The place for me.

Please let me out of this place called Ward 3.


I’m moved to a room,

All alone, just me.

Nothing but me and a silent TV.

Was it something I said?

Did I do something wrong?

I promise I’ll be good from here on.

Please just let me leave

Leave this place,

This place called Ward 3.


My visitors are here - at last people who know me!

But what are they all doing surrounding me?

Their heads held in hands, as tears run free.

Please take me home from this place called Ward 3.


My visitors leave, but they forget me.

I don’t understand - why they didn’t take me?

As I turn in my bed

It’s the view that I see;

I can see a lighthouse calling to me.

Please let me out of this place called Ward 3.


As I close my eyes,

I start running free,

Along the beach,

No-one can catch me.

It’s time to go,

It’s time to leave

And say farewell to this place

This place called Ward 3.

Anonymous. Written by a student in memory of her dad who passed away on Ward 3 in 2012.


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