Getting Better


I’m back in the deck chair in the garden
as you build your zookeeper spaceships
around me. I sip a banana milkshake
as a pheasant eyes me from the steps.
His feathers glint Japanese in the light.
Here we are safe from shotguns, needles,
bone scans. Of course there is still
a burning in my chest, muscle cramps
that catch the breath, the challenge
of getting out of the chair when my arms
won’t hold the weight they’re supposed to.

I watch a bee buzz inside a flame of flower.
You have made me a necklace
of rainbow pasta. You tell me you wish
you had a nurse gun to make everyone better.
You feed us chocolate and suck the layers
of colour from your ice lolly while asking
if I know more than you. A little bit,
I reply, while thinking how much there is
to learn from recuperating in the sunshine
with a small boy and his shining lego.

Still Life


The daffodils in the window
hold in their white yellow halos
the soft wonder of being home
after hospital. As if they know
that ten hours surgery
leaves your skin petal torn
and stitched with pain.
Fragile as a fallen blossom.
Yet holding all the power
of a new morning
where the birds are singing
of spring and the light
is a phoenix blessing
splashing across the shadows
on the window sill.