We think we know it all
until we find we don’t know
anything at all. Not enough
not yet / If I die today
I was never born.
Left before we could meet
A brother, a son my cousin –
Three halves of your lives later I
touch the lump behind my neck
think of yours in your brain.
These embers, too, will give. What
is care / when hurting is blind?
The man who called me ‘doctor’
remarked he was in this very room
last time, loved the new short stay
unit downstairs. The man who had
cerebral palsy but smiled wider
than I ever had.
The boy just older than you were
asked if I watched the rugby
told mum to bring his Switch
before being wheeled into theatre
for his third open heart surgery
in two years.
The lady with maroon manicures
and the sweet tooth. ‘Thank you
darling’ when I put her socks on.
‘Sorry dear’ as she wept. Her love
of sixty years needed her. Her many
metastases did not.
If there is anybody I should pity
it is myself. Questions answer
if you cry loud enough.
As the bells of history chime
your hands behind mine and
your many faces in my mind
I go forth towards my time.