Emergency Operator

Emergency operator one one one
fire ambulance or police.
Operators speak briskly clearly.
State the options, connect to
caller’s required service. Then
hold themselves together to help
the caller,¬† answer the service’s
questions later if required.

Difficult on Christmas night
when families splinter, burst apart
as alcohol flows, men bellow,
punches pummel bodies, women
cry, children scream, sob call for
Mum and Nana. Public holidays
expose our underlying rifts.

Yet my worst night on emergency
calls  was not a holiday but an
ordinary night. Except that our
national rugby team lost the World
Rugby Cup Final, exposed to our
gaze on our television screens.

Men roared, punches pummelled
bodies, women cried, children
screamed, sobbed, called for Mum.
So many people lost that night
besides our national rugby team.

Emergency Operator