Saturday, 30 May 2009

Long line of times

Slide of scan over a belly’s domes and angles.
She speaks:
‘There’s no activity’.
But there’s a chance?
Comes out as: ‘Oh, thank you.
For telling me.’

Into the corridor
time to pass it on
First of a long line of times
Oh my God. What have I done?
Comes out like: ‘can’t detect a heartbeat.’

Another’s grief shuddering
against a useless chest
Still and quiet and still and it will go away
Comes out like nothing
Nothing else to say.

‘It’s a question of indemnity; you must ride in the chair.’
I chose to walk somewhere like this
one last time.
Comes out like, mute intent.
Then insolent acquiescence,
gliding, hands in lap
staring on the windows
to the hospital roof below -
bulbous structures, like cartoon saucers,
what good do they do?

Afterwards in the monitor blue lit room
place of origin and end.
The defiant compassion of a midwife
giving morphine for pain in a body already numb
Comes out like oblivion
before what remains of the long line of times.

girl like I was, playing at a nurse:
‘Sister likes you to sit out of bed for your breakfast.’
Fuck Sister, do you know what I did yesterday?
Comes out like: ‘sorry, ok.’

The long line of times
All the pieces of life
All the people who see
and the Polish man with the dog
and the girl on the Booths’ till
and the garage bloke’s wife
and the chemist – I was there, it was me
in the blue lit room, there at the hecatomb
it was me.
Comes out like: lost, still, too soon, not meant to be.

Payback time in that long, long line
The acquaintance, hardly ever seen
Quick, animate, untroubled, eugenic, well bred:
‘Hello, where’s the little one, what did you get?’
‘A little girl. She came out dead.’

1 comment:

  1. I was awarded the Andrea Pendlebury poetry prize for this in Spring 2009