1943 Meg poem

Inspections Advice

The Sapper’s Lament

Said the S.M.O. to the J.M.O.
With a frown “Now, did you say
Four hundred skin inspections are
Too many on one day?
Now listen, I will tell you how
Inspections can be done
Efficiently and only take
Ten seconds for each one –
Nearly four hundred in an hour.
(Don’t shake your head I pray
I tell you it is simple if
You do it as I say.)
Teach them to follow fast in turn
And glance as each goes by
At hands, axillae, chest and back
Their teeth, then turn your eye
In rapid survey o’er the girl.
If any should look ill
Or if they have symptoms to air
Tell them to wait until
The end, then you can spend what time
You have, or like, on each.
Oh, inspections are mere child’s play if
You practice what I preach!”

Margaret Taylor 1943

1943 Meg poem

The Thyrotoxic Lady

The Thyrotoxic Lady (1943)

The lady sitting over there
(with proptosed and unwinking stare)
Is thyrotoxic. It’s not hot
But note that she perspires a lot;
And if you chanced upon the sly
To knock her knee as you went by
(I recommend you take the risk)
You’ld find her knee-jerks rather brisk.

If you sat next to her, and dared
To take her hand you’ld think her scared
For ‘twould be trembling; her pulse rate
Might rise to dizzy heights; a state
Of palpitations in the chest
Would come upon her if you pressed
Her fingers – be not over-bold
Her feelings cannot be controlled.

In fact it is because her nerves
Are so on edge that all the curves
Of female form have worn away
And left her thin and far from gay.

Though she (it cannot be denied)
Eats like a horse, something inside
Must take all value from her food,
It never does her any good.
(Only her neck’s circumference
Enlarges fast at her expense).
All told, the thyrotoxic state
Is one, I fancy, she must hate.

Published in “The Lancet” 1943 (received £5 !)