Thursday, 9 September 2010


Poet Steve Waling writes about visiting his mother in hospital. This piece was sent to us by Steve in reponse to PATIENCE, our collection of poetry and artworks by older people in hospital.

a bundle of sticks /// writhes on a bed
it’s hard to believe in God /// are there any crackers
mum you’re in hospital /// oh I forgot
visiting hours /// are between 6 and 8

but now you’re here /// are there any crackers
close the curtains /// is there a party next door
pull the sheet back over her /// oh I forgot
ambulance siren /// like a startled cat

it’s the delivery suite /// what’s all that banging
dissociated as to place /// acute serious infection
but now you’re here /// it’s hard to believe in
nurse wipes down plastic mattress /// when there’s such

I saw rabbits on the lawn /// I’m hungry
they should bite the bullet /// just get on with it
she tries to climb out of a sheet /// a bundle of sticks
close the curtains /// are there any crackers

the eyes don’t connect /// no but there’s chocolate
disoriented as to place /// I’ll have some of that
see God in mother’s face /// like a startled cat
is there a party next door /// oh I forgot

Steve Waling's book Travelator is published by Salt. Steve teaches creative writing, occasionally in prisons, and reads his poems in public at any given opportunity. His poems might be described as gentle experiments in intimacy, sometimes awkward and always without pretension. He writes the blog Brando's Hat.

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