Where do poems come from – worries about health

Posted: February 27, 2014 in Home
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I often think there is nothing to do with anxiety apart from containing it within words; I wrote this as my mother was waiting for an endoscopy. The results were good, but from then forwards her life has been a slow slippage. A staircase. You can go down it and pause for a while, but you can never climb back up.

LULLABY

I think you are moving forwards now,
slowly into the quietest place,
where it is always dark and you
will be newly dark to me.

But – for today – you carry on, beetling
in your little car, your face a crumple
of perplexity. In the supermarket
you hum a soft nonsense.

I track you by that lullaby and hunt you
down. You are lifting the packs of food
and turning them this way that way
as if they have become suddenly exquisite.

We always go for lunch. After a trembling hour,
the gravy and potatoes are a still suspension
floating on your plate. It is sticking in your throat.
And I too can’t swallow it.

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