nederlandse taal
english language

 
Poetry International Web
en/nl
dutch news
previous | next
 
 
 

TAKING THE DRIP OUT
Then one afternoon
in a little private office
the consultant Zoe and me
there’s no more to be done for you,

they’re going to remove
the feeding drip, up the drug dosage,
‘...and he’ll just slip away’

Already high on a flying carpet
of kind morphine dreams,
you’ve nothing more to say to us,
though last week you could still moan,

‘get me out of here’

Almost as bad,
the junior doctor in the corridor
asking furtively,
‘if he has a coronary arrest,
do you want him resuscitated?’

Unanswerable question,
while a few feet away on your deathbed,
you were letting go
autumns of the future,

remembering the past maybe,
how I charmed your wart away,
pressing the raw steak to your cheek,
reciting,

‘O wen, o little wennikins,
Here shall you build not, here have no abode...’
Then buried the chunk of meat
In the north of our garden...
Or maybe you dreamed of our modest travels,

You, who like Rembrandt never visited Rome,
But like the Master of the small landscape,
loved the microcosm, sand-grains, water-droplets,
chips of granite, the exact quota of crystals

packed into a geode no bigger than an egg

On the day they take the drip out
there’s so much we don’t know,
how long it will be
before life can ever be normal again,

above all we don’t know,
Zoe and I,
how beautiful and welcoming
the sunlit sands of Maenporth will be

(o come unto these yellow sands)

nor how the equinoctial blue sky
will watch over us,
like a witty person struck silent,
as I scatter your ashes into the bright waves,
and the sea, nature’s perfectionist,

bears you away in triumph.