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New Years Eve in the ER

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Below is the poem entitled New Years Eve in the ER which was written by poet Joe Flach. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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New Years Eve in the ER

The doctors and nurses in the Emergency Room prepared themselves for the 
longest night of the year – New Year’s Eve going into New Years day.

As morbid as it may be, they even had a pool going to guess the time of the first 
alcohol related incident to come into the ER.  He had 11:30.  The clock showed 
11:00.  All was quiet, except for the broken leg in pod 1 as the result of a young 
man falling off of a ladder putting up New Years decorations.  This patient had not 
even started drinking yet.

They heard the sirens in the distance as the radio call came in announcing two 
ambulances were on their way with victims from a car crash – 11:15, Nurse 
Thompson’s entry in the pool.

Dr. Sampson took the first patient, a 30-ish man, conscious with blood streaming 
from his head.  The smell of alcohol was prevalent.  His patient was a young woman 
on a respirator with IV’s already in place.  Walking beside the rolling stretcher was 
her husband, holding her hand, tears running down his face as he said, “We were 
on our way here.  Her water broke at about 10:00.  This guy ran the red light and 
slammed right into us.  Is she going to be okay?”

An ER social worker took the husband to a waiting area as the doctor began barking 
out orders to nurses and attendants in assistance.

The drunk driver, of course, would be okay – for some reason, they usually always 

The husband and would-be father sat sobbing as police officers led the offender out 
of the hospital and into their waiting patrol car.  No word yet from the team working 
on his wife and child.

He heard fireworks from outside the window in the waiting area and could hear a 
few, “Happy New Years” being shared by doctors and nurses in the hallways.  

New Years was also welcomed in in the Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone and 
Pacific Time Zone before the doctor walked out to meet the husband in the waiting 
area.  The look on the doctor’s face said it all.  The social worker joined them as the 
doctor simply said, “I’m sorry.  We could not save your wife – but your son is doing 

The news crew that was at the hospital to report on the first baby born in 2011 
decided to cancel their story.  Nurse Thompson did not collect the pool money.   The 
father was led to a room in the maternity ward where he fed his new son formula 
from a bottle.

Maybe, just maybe, someone will read this story and schedule to have a cab take 
them home from the New Years Eve party and this story can remain a fictional tale.  

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  1. Date: 12/25/2010 10:09:00 PM
    No one tells a story like you, Joe, this one gave me goosebumps and then tears, so sad that this story is not one of fiction really because things like this do happen, so well done as usual~~

  1. Date: 12/24/2010 11:37:00 PM
    well, you have to pay my E.R dues for making my heart palpitate with the contiues suspense of the narrative, joe... knocks me off my feet; excellent job!! ..:) nette

  1. Date: 12/24/2010 10:59:00 PM
    Both the joy of birth and the death of his wife marred the holiday for this husband. I hope everyone who has the propensity to drink and drive reads this poem and takes the message seriously. You had me spellbound. Thanks for sharing, Joe. Love, Carolyn, and Merry Christmas!

  1. Date: 12/24/2010 10:05:00 PM
    every year you wonder what were they thinking, they had to have known that they would one day kill someone with their drinking and driving, but every year they take their chances don't they, lets hope this year they smarten up, excellent piece Joe