Post-op Day One

I’m very pleased to say that my poem was shortlisted for the Bridport prize 2016!

Post-op Day One

They’re laying me out this morning.


The one with thick arms

despises me

for my helplessness,

forces home

a suppository to ease the pain,

uses the flannel roughly –

did I think I’d paid for kindness too?

lifts my wasted arms

prepares me –

a goose-pimpled chicken

blotched yellow

by iodine and bruises,

tucks deodorant

like sprigs of rosemary

under my wings.


The one with a catch

of garlic on her breath

finds my toothpaste,

hauls me up to brush

and spit out in a plastic cup,

then lies me down

ready to be trussed

with tubes and wires untangled,

tied into my backless shift.


Their talk lobs over me –

We’ll come in half an hour

to get you up, dear says Thick Arms.

Garlic Breath throws in a smile

and they both laugh.

Ready for breakfast.





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