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Writing to clear the mind

The last two years have given us examples of how to do things well and how to do things badly. We have watched news footage of intensive care wards where dedicated and exhausted hospital teams (from to clinicians to those who keep the wards clean and others who do the admin) work selflessly for the benefit of their patients. Sadly, we’ve also seen political point-scoring, ‘do as I say and not as I do’ and others trying to benefit from the Covid crisis. In fact, what Covid has done is put into sharp focus how things were anyway.

Having been disabled for decades, I’ve seen more than my fair share of hospitals and, almost always, my care has been splendid. The sad thing is that I sometimes remember the rare occasions when that hasn’t been the case. I wrote the following poem to clear my mind of one such occasion. The heart problem is fictional!

In my last blog post I mentioned writing for the benefit of others. But writing can also be cathartic. Covid has given us all such a beating, I wonder if it might do us good to sit down and write about it.

The clipboard

You bore down on me,

Dr Whipthorpe,

ready for battle.

Armour: white coat

Weapon: clipboard

I fought

to prise personality

from white cotton,

struggled to show

the machine tested

was my heart.

But you won.

I’d no chance.

The clipboard did it.

Wounded, I watched you throw it down,

heard the thud,

the ricochet.

Your parting shot -

aimed at a nurse -

hit me.

‘That’s the chest pain,’

it rang out,

‘in bed 8.’

Written for the Scottish Fellowship of Christian Writers and used by kind permission.


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