365 Poems/33 Fountains Ward (New Poem. Rough Draft.)

Fountains Ward

That humid July night,

when my Granddad was dying,

there was an elderly man

in a room a little way

down the corridor.


He was dying too.

None of the patients

went into Fountains ward

to get better.


It was as though the nurses,

in their pool of blue hued low light,

were blind, deaf and mute.


When Granddad was struggling,

an hour or so before the end,

they took their time,

like it was a trivial chore.


Mum had to hold my arms

behind my back, press my head

into the space between

her neck and chest


The man alone in the other room

was moaning. I wanted to sneak in

through the open door,

hold his hands,

so if he opened his eyes,

there would be someone there.


He was so old and ill, his body

ravaged and twisted,

like thin strips of driftwood.


After my granddad passed,

after we had seen daylight

turn into night and back

into daylight again,


nurses trudged into the man’s room

with masks, buckets

and plastic gloves, up to the elbow.