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- A hospital isn’t a home
There’s no room for emotions – and no space to cry
A hospital isn’t a home
There’s no hugs and kisses – and no one knows why
A hospital isn’t a home
And does anyone really care
A hospital isn’t a home
But I can’t be anywhere but here
- I stare into the white walls of space,
Eyes looking at me sorrowfully,
I wish I could just say,
“It’s okay- this happens everyday!”
But then they would be even more sorry.
- This is where your heartbeat lingers:
somewhere between hospital bed sheets
and the new-found aching in my chest.
The bed in which you slept
has been soiled by silent tears
and your nervous sweat.
You were always home to me,
but I was robbed by all your misery.
Replace your sorrows with an absence
of yourself, and I’ll make my home
in your hospital bed sheets.
For some, this is a place of miracles.
For us, it’s one of tragedy.
- Three pounds a month they
ask, save the Tiger, save the
Panda, save the Jaguar, save
the rain forest.
Three pounds a month for
the children’s hospital and
for the save the children’s
fund, the RSPCA, RSPB,
Cancer research, just, only
three pounds a month, now
my pockets are empty with
all these donations.
Our governments, they also
donate, mainly to the
FAT CAT SOCIETY
yes those poor sods who
caused the majority of man’s
suffering with their greed and
Please just three pound a
month for the Daniel
Cheesemans poetry fund.
- Another would-be life slips down a hospital sluice –
a mangled tangle of tissue, a broken bouquet of limb buds.
Carmine carnage reduced to simplistic statistic.
But these hospitals are blanched mausoleum-white,
operating slabs are sarcophagi, stirruped legs are strung high,
and a crimson slurry seeps from between splayed thighs.
Death-pimp doctors are gloved and gowned, loom grandiose,
assume arrogance and surgical masks of indifference.
Feminine thought frisks to freedom now:
the biannual foreign holiday, career climbing and the company car.
Birth is an inconvenient blip on the social calendar.
Huddled horror-mute before my Philips flatscreen last night,
peering through the fretwork of my fingers,
a sickening frisson shivered through me; vertiginous waves
breaking on my body’s shore, faintness flooding my head.
Today I cannot elude my abhorrence;
it overshadows me, obliterates former complacency.
Tonight people will be on the pull in club-clotted towns,
and bedsprings will squeak a soulless sound
as more life is made to be taken.
- I’m staring at the iv bag
praying it would just
empty faster but i know
that’ll do no good and
it’ll take at least another
two or three hours and
you’re sitting in what
looks to be the most
in the world and i
invite you to lay on
the most uncomfortable
hospital bed in the world
with me but you said you
didn’t want to take up too
much space and crush me
but to be honest i don’t
think i’d mind being
smothered by you
i’d still love you
- Hospitals remind me of my father.
The chilly fluorescent lights stinging.
So much pain, but
It has to go somewhere.
Most people forget it exists until it’s too late-
Life or death,
And maybe hope.
She wasn’t as gentle as I would be,
His back, crooked, hunched.
His gnarled hands, like weathered wood.
My head on his chest.
I remember late nights,
Doing homework on my lap.
Pinching siblings overwhelmed by boredom.
I barely recall the sound of his voice.
- It’s not that I don’t like the hospital.
Those small bouquets of flowers, pert and brave.
The smell of antiseptic cleansers.
The ill, so wistful in their rooms, so true.
My friend, the one who’s dying, took me out
To where the patients go to smoke, IV’s
And oxygen in tanks attached to them—
A tiny patio for skeletons. We shared
A cigarette, which was delicious but
Too brief. I held his hand; it felt
Like someone’s keys. How beautiful it was,
The sunlight pointing down at us, as if
We were important, full of life, unbound.
I wandered for a moment where his ribs
Had made a space for me, and there, beside
The thundering waterfall of his heart,
I rubbed my eyes and thought, “I’m lost.”
- Grip my hand
Don’t ever let go,
Just give me one more chance
To let you know,
I didn’t mean what I said
And I never thought you’d be here,
In an hospital bed,
Lying cold, numb, almost dead,
And I can’t take it,
Please pull through I know you can make it,
Don’t leave me here
Make me shed this tear
You’re all I’ve got,
Even if I appreciated it or not,
You’ve always been there,
Near or far apart,
Even though I didn’t realize,
You were in my heart,
And I know you’re strong
And to this fate you don’t belong,
I need you here to comfort me,
I need to you to fight,
Don’t shut your eyes,
Don’t fall into the light,
Because if you go, my world will fall apart,
And I’ll have a broken heart,
And now as you lie here I know,
I’ve always needed you,
Right from the very start,
And I’m not letting you go.
- They stood, almost blocking the pavement,
As though at a window display;
The stretcher was pushed in position,
The ambulance started away.
Past porches and pavements and people
It plunged with its powerful light
Through streets in nocturnal confusion
Deep into the blackness of night.
The headlights picked out single faces,
Militiamen, stretches of street.
The nurse with a smelling-salts phial
Was rocked to and fro on her seat.
A drain gurgled drearily. Cold rain
Was falling. The hospital-clerk
Took out a fresh form of admission
And filled it in, mark upon mark.
They gave him a bed by the entrance;
No room in the ward could be found.
Strong iodine vapour pervaded
The draught from the windows around.
His window framed part of the garden,
And with it a bit of the sky.
The newcomer studied the floorboards,
The ward and the objects nearby,
When, watching the nurse’s expression
Of doubt, in her questioning drive,
He suddenly knew this adventure
Would hardly release him alive.
Then, grateful, he turned to the window
Behind which the wall, further down,
Was breathing like smouldering tinder,
Lit up by the glare of the town.
There, far off the city was glowing
All crimson-aflame; in its swell
A maple-branch, ragged, was bowing
To bid him a silent farewell.
‘0 Lord,’ he was thinking, ‘how perfect
Thy works are, how perfect and right;
The walls and the beds and the people,
This death-night, the city at night!
‘I drink up a sedative potion,
And weeping, my handkerchief trace.
0 Father, the tears of emotion
Prevent me from seeing Thy face.
‘Dim light scarcely touches my bedstead.
It gives me such comfort to drift
And feel that my life and my lot are
Thy priceless and wonderful gift.
‘While dying in fading surroundings
I feel how Thy hands are ablaze,
The hands that have made me and hold me
And hide like a ring in a case.’