Yellow Purple Blue

The corridors seem longer with each foreboding march along

Men my age, mid-life, shuffle toward me dragging their drips

Or machines that feed tubes into their sides, their throats, their asses

I watch the gunk being sucked out and the penicillin pumping in.

I was here many times as a kid

We ran riot with our legs cast, stitches busting, nightgowns flapping

The nurses would chase us

There was laughter

And a laissez-faire attitude to our care back then

Not now

Not here in this ward

I scrub my hands

They are as sterile as is possible

If I could I’d strip naked and scrub myself with bleach if it helped

But there is no helping now either

The buzzer sounds and the nurse opens the door

Into the realm of the dying

She is the ferryman guiding me across the river Styx


This is not the place she should be spending her last days



She is yellow and she is purple and she is blue

And it hurts to even look at her

(More than it ever has)

But it’s ok

I trick myself into thinking that colourful describes her best and that eventually

We all turn into who we have spent our lives being

And so I take her hand like it’s a butterfly wing

Like she is turning to dust

And I tell her what she already knows


The corridors, longer still on the way out, are so bare

Footsteps sound like castanets accompanied by the broken marimba

Of the clank of crutches and gurney’s clattering

But there’s no nurse chasing me

I haven’t heard laughter in weeks

Just a laissez-faire attitude to our care remains

◄ Nagasaki Shadows

Kissing the Alien (a boyhood dream) ►


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Fri 5th Aug 2011 08:35

Thanks Jules, unfortunately I never got that opportunity but i know how lucky i was that i got to say goodbye at least

<Deleted User> (8730)

Thu 4th Aug 2011 18:36

Very poigniant. I have been in eleven hospitals myself and my mother died in Intensive Care. i held her hand as she passed away.....

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Wed 3rd Aug 2011 11:50

Thanks Stella! Helplessness would be the right word...


<Deleted User> (6315)

Tue 2nd Aug 2011 23:55

Think this is bloody brilliant...she shouts, been there too often and you capture the essence of helplessness so very well.


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