This is like one of those places you visit

and you know you have been before.

It isn’t déjà vu –  some  Schrödinger’s

memory. This is real.


It’s the door you open when you have to

meet your dead. I am holding it shut

for I do not want to go


There’s quite a mix in there. Don’t look.


This should write itself for I have words.

The page should fill itself with a jumble

of protest. Or a jungle even. I have



Such a strange time. Waiting. Both in

And out of time. Pre op. They have words

To cosy us. I have spoken of this before

as I have words.


They have your blood and your heartbeat

and now they are looking in your chest

where the bones are cradling your



Do they know that I have held you and felt

your beating heart on mine. Love is drawn

as a heart, with arrows, and Christ holds out

his bleeding heart. Pierced also.


Make it more relevant!

Someone is lecturing her junior, calling over

her shoulder, impatiently as she leaves a room






It doesn’t say that.


In the toilet with its plastered signs daring you to

smoke someone is rushing to a meeting, pushing past

where I am looking in the mirror with eyes that

ought to have bled away their colour. No?


More relevant. I watch the  procession of the halt

and lame and someone whose feet turn up like

jester’s shoes. While you are somewhere

being processed.


You are becoming a patient, and you carry your

big brown envelope which tells them all your stats.

It’s in the Tesco carrier full of your pills.

Remember. Don’t take clopidogrel.


And I think I love the young.

At the bus stop after my squabbling stint as

driver we pass a mother with her little girl;

she strokes her face with such a light of


tenderness. In the field two horses stand

rubbing noses like the Inuit are said to do.

A coloured foal dances along their sides.



Now I am patient too, like waiting for a

birth. Or some other alteration.


They will saw through your sternum

and display your beating heart, all

that mess you see in butchers’  shops

where I always say I don’t eat offal.


I want to share the venom of this

misery, it’s like a wound. Suppurating

and thick as  – don’t say blood – I have

words. My misery stains each day.


Don’t say tears. Like pus. The colours

are so ugly that I cannot look.

You say I’m ready now I wasn’t now I am

I will die if it isn’t done it’s my only chance.


And talk about your death or if you are left hanging

in the soft plush of some unknowable place

between life and death. Do not resuscitate

you say. There must be cosy words for that.


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