A Calling

It was a pile of bare facts
offered on thumbed A4 papers
She searched it whilst
suffering from acute self-diagnosis

but could only uncover Diverticulitis
there typed out and slid between
other printed sheets
filed in black dust-lined trays

whilst an old boy too-loudly
then too-brightly – grutched
far too-noisily about
his own complaint to a nurse

Consultants’ rooms
are time-flawed monasteries
of waiting – of slow duties – with prayer
and others’ voices bound to

callings to blind-pulled cells
in which our tired priests sit
But this is my wife’s summoning
to another saint-named place

And – again – an absolution follows
That necessary shrift to solve
discomforts set under our skin
and over our lives

and we are lucky – we leave
without having to see higher gods
for a second opinion
This referral is her small miracle

Conquest Hospital

Robert Richard Rollins –
I was born nineteen thirty-four
struggled with the name –
El-dwabe

He worried out loud
that he’d forget
the surgeon’s
Egyptian-sounding name

As he was wheeled –
backwards for ease
he again apologised
so profusely to the nurse

for his failure to recall
I forget names –
the consultant …
El-dwabe

#GE2017

There will be a ballot
with outcomes unknown,
but the resulting state
could be one that’ll harm,
it may finally remove
the vestiges of pride
which were the first choice
of the winning side,
that construction of faith,
more real than dead Gods,
off socialist embers
fired after the war.

When you make your mark
it will determine the fate
of the care of your family,
the future price paid.
Each ballot with a cross,
is a kiss for the carers,
a token of love,
for the state which will keep us.
Or leave it, don’t bother,
make a mark for the rich,
and let them get fat
on the illness of kids;
let them turn profits
on dementia, new business,
let them trade shares
in your family’s sickness.