Poetry Corner

Worth

Photo by Ahimetaler Akhem from unsplash
 
 Striplight eyed, Eve tumbles out
 to mourning’s waking arms,
 home to bed’s hollow belly,
 the longnight’s deadweight
 gushing from her soul
 into the pillow’s soft shoulder.
  
 She dreams of stiffened lungs,
 wetfaces on computer screens
 and an absence of cuddles
 in the hug-hungriest seconds.
 She doesn’t ever dream
 of applause, rattling pans.
  
 She clenches her jaw whenever
 she reads she is an angel,
 hates the politics of dirty tricks
 and doublespeaking, knows
 a word or two herself
 but is too spent to speak them.
  
 Wheeling the longway
 past all the sealed off wards,
 Kevin, half hoarse, makes jokes
 about his rough arsed voice.
  
 “It’s got no bloody choice!
 I’m a chauffeur, the gopher
 on who they all depend,
 driving you lot around
 while you drive me round the bend!”
  
 The white-haired lady facing front
 beams, says he’s a cheeky monkey
 and settles her heart from its panic.
 A moment’s oasis in a manic night,
 she can only guess at his smile or the fact
 it sticks at his lips, his eyes already full.
  
 He dreams of a holiday,
 all palm trees and balm
 but there are bodies to bag,
 corridor miles to plod.
  
 He hates the word Hero.
 Heroes can pay their bills
 and afford nice things
 for their children,
 who they drop off to school
 instead of dropping off to sleep.
  
 There are souls picking up the stricken
 of a world turned upside down,
 a nation who never knew their worth
 until now. 

Harry Gallagher

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