Within Four Weeks


We walk into the magic land
of steam engines
and Father Christmas
sat in the corner
of an old fashioned carriage
with doors that slide shut.
Not the Orient Express perhaps
but there are sword balloons
and stickers and Thomas the Tank Engine
puffing home as the light fades.

Two little boys who believe
In the power of reindeer,
the whistle of The Fat Controller,
the wonder of time travel
as the world rolls by the window.
The chocolate countdown to Christmas.

The gynaecologist asks me
how high my pain threshold is.
Another little lump. Another biopsy.
Another probably benign,
probably nothing,
but my faith in probably
has been profoundly shaken.

I no longer believe
when they open me up,
it will be all silver ribbons
and the crinkle of wrapping paper.
I worry that I’m not on the right list,
that they don’t know where I live,
that my letter has been lost.

Then I remember you saying
you’d take me to the North Pole
and we’d drink hot chocolate all the way.
I need to hold on to that kind of magic
when the rational arguments
of surgical options
threaten to shine brighter
than the silver tinsel
of what you’ve diagnosed
as the best Christmas tree ever.


4 thoughts on “Within Four Weeks

  1. Thinking of you A. I know its hard but please try not to worry. We’ve all likely got polyps and lumps and bumps all over the place, its just in your case they’re looking for them and so then they have to be investigated . You’ve probably had it for years xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always enjoy a poem that I need to read four, five, or even, ten times to discover all the subtle nuances it contains. Lots of imagery here to think about.


  3. I appreciate your sharing of something so personal, and the use of the holiday gift metaphor touches me powerfully, Aoife. I’m especially drawn to the stanza beginning, “I no longer believe…” Blessings.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s