Sunday, November 20, 2011

Suffering General

The original Southern General Hospital, Glasgow

Hospitals no longer have that smell
- the fearful pungency of old -
no: there is a casual air
about the hours of waiting, where
random chat is fractured
and coffee cups abandoned
as if this were a station –
a brief halt in life’s affairs
a stop along the line
before the terminus.
Stop: don’t think of terminus,
not here, among the shifting
interrupted lives of those
who miss their names –
impatient calls and repetitions –
then stumble off to share their need
and leave, calmed for now or not,
out into the grey day where fog
swirls round a half-built tower
and coughing echoes in the biting air.

©C.M. 11/11

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