Poetry Corner

Christmas at the RVI

Photo by Kelly Sikkama, courtesy of unsplash
There are tears in the clinic as retinas detach,
 scan shadows explained. There are moments profound,
 tissues all round, talk of hope, coping strategies.

 There are choices explored, stark asa pale wall
 in a consulting office. Chemotherapy and barium
 fill up conversational silence like so much lead.

 There are loved ones holding hands, wondering who’ll
 be there to hold theirs at the end of the end,
 when empty days will be enemies, never friends.

 There are ladies with mops, skating around the dreams
 of kiddies already half in Heaven and hush little baby
 don’t you cry, mummy’s going to weep you a lullaby.

 There are people waltzing out into the street,
 light as prisoners newly released to freedom, hope
 and tomorrows and tomorrows and tomorrows.

 There are soft-voiced darlings who don’t see dates,
 only bodies, broken and bent. Through snow and sleep,
 terrors and weeping, they wait faithful as ever to mend.

Harry Gallagher

The RVI is the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle