24 Hours in Critical Care


I was due a mastectomy yesterday but had an anaphylactic shock to the dye they used with the anaesthetic so now it’s been rescheduled for Tuesday.


The surgeon’s letter describes me as pleasant
which make me laugh because the word
jars so much with the situation,
because shouldn’t I be why me, is there a God,
furious and resentful. But I’m not.
I’m very polite and smiley and thank you so much
and this is not an act because deep down,
I am profoundly, eternally grateful
to these strangers who are saving my life.

Different Worlds


Different Worlds

Last night you discovered
how to use the remote control,
switching over to Killing Me Softly
and dancing on the sofa
with your arms around us both,
kissing our cheeks as if to say
look here we are, the three of us,
our little family.

I hold this image in my mind
as the MRI machine makes
its drilling machine music
in between bursts of Heart FM
and the morning traffic outside
of this deep sea diving bell.

Afterwards you greet me in reception
with a packet of sweets and a huge grin.
Hospitals are fun when you’re
only two years old and you can make
even the women in wigs smile.