The System Won’t Save Us (Alison Flett)

(an unlucky sonnet)

Not the white of everything nor everything white
not our date and place of birth nor our current address
not Triage nor Admissions, not Emergency nor Recovery  
not the far-off wailing baby nor next door’s throttled cough
not the steady Morse of monitor nor the jig-jag line of bpm
not the silver glint of wheelchair nor the rubber thrust of wheels
not the cupboard of folded blankets nor the trolley of soiled sheets
not the repetition of Spirigel nor Spirigel repetition
not the blood coming out nor the blood going in
not the pale saline drip nor the dark catheter bag
not the blue procedure mask nor the red box of ECG dots
not the confusion of corridors nor the colour-coded paths
but the exit sign, white against green, a small figure moving towards a door


Alison Flett is originally from Scotland where her poetry collection, Whit Lassyz Ur Inty, was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book of the Year Award. She has performed her work on national television and radio and at numerous literary festivals. Since moving to Australia she has been published in various anthologies and journals including Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite, Rabbit, Southerly, Stylus Lit, Westerly, Irises: The University of Canberra International Poetry Prize 2017 and Buying Online: Newcastle Poetry Prize 2018. She is an arts reviewer for InDaily, poetry editor for Transnational Literature and publisher at Little Windows Press