2010 OPEN COMPETITION
1st Prize: £150.00 - Pat Borthwick, Kirby Underdale, E. Yorkshire
Scene From My Hospital Bed
The world enters me through a straw,
sometimes a lavender kiss. A creaky chair
reads the same story it read before.
Iím told if I want to see anything again
I must stay flatter than horizontal.
And not move.
School will be bent to exams.
From somewhere to the left of my bed
the syrupy notes of a blackbird float past.
Weeks more of my eyes swathed in crepe,
my room reduced to the ticking of a clock,
the tinkle and swish of a nurse.
Ointment Iím sure is a sort of white
trickles down my cheeks, then my neck.
Every voice that comes near
tells me to leave it alone. Do not touch.
I want feathers to grow from my fingers
so I can stroke it away.
Alone, memory is a room full of drawers.
I dream all their keys are kept locked
in one Iíll never be tall enough to reach.
I am trying to tell these things to the hands
whose rubbery fingers unwind my head,
who instruct me to keep my eyes closed.
The man who married my mother
has just slipped out from a drawer.
Crying wonít help say the rubber hands.