Getting Undressed


It’s the familiarity of the hospital gown,
the talk of white socks. My name written
as a new born, the constant confirmation
of date of birth, the need to be sure who I am.
It doesn’t get any easier to pronounce
my consent to procedures I claim to understand.

When I look at my insides on television,
I don’t recognise myself in those magnified walls
they’re considering removing. I have no idea
what I’m looking at. The nurse says
it’s a wonderful drug, you won’t remember a thing.

But it has all come back to me,
the pictures on the ceiling, the long rolling shiver
down a corridor I could walk if they’d let me,
the swinging of the doors and the little bump,
the sweet relief of putting my own clothes back on.

New Year’s Eve


The pop of champagne as we step out of the car,
confetti in the January wind. A morning
of home baked cakes, the cat seeking refuge
on top of the fridge from little boy laughter.
A never ending story, such friendship,
this new year when we have promised
once more to be in love with life.

Of course there are knives out there,
the flash floods of fear, test results
that threaten to burst their banks.
But even if the old song is skating
on thin ice, good health a bubble
caught in the back of my throat.

There is still this romance of our names
written in ink that will last forever.
Holding your hand, I know we will
all dance together after midnight.