CH (16 April 1944 / Salisbury Rhodesia)

Hospital View

He was lonely and sad in his hospital bed
Accepting his future with ‘boding and dread
Predictable ending of long active years
Memories only of friends and his peers

They constrain him, he has to lie flat on his back
Unable to move with his arms and legs slack
A view of the ceiling, his only reward:
Controlling the light with remote control cord

One day they bring in another like him
A survivor of life but with chances so slim
They have now to share their ward with a view
That can only be seen by the one of the two

The new one must sit for an hour every day
Is made to sit up, help his lungs drain away
The fluids that gather to choke off his breath
Of the two men, he is closer to death

They talk of their past and the lives they have had
The joys and the pleasures, the good times and bad
How they served in the forces with life on the line
What they learned about living this complex design

The newcomer started to speak what he saw
Through the window each day for an hour-long or more
His companion now listened with rapture to share
As descriptions unfolded of vistas out there

The newcomer told of the lake and the reeds
The gardeners there planting and sowing the seeds
The flowers and trees and the pathways and grass
Where children could play and the lovers could pass

He spoke of the families with picnics in shade
And the swans and the ducks that landed and stayed
And then in July of a passing parade
They could hear not the music nor what was played

One day in December the new man fell ill
They found him that morning so silent and still
They moved him away from his window-side bed
On a gurney that took him the way of the dead

The old man now feeble and sad that his friend
Had departed at last with his life at an end
He asked if he could… “be moved to his place”
So with a mirror… he’d see outer space

Imagine his shock when he finds the sight
Is not of a park but a wall with the light
Filtered through grills of security glass
No people, no lake, no children, no grass

“But why would he talk of what he could see
When there’s nothing out there of what he told me? ”
“Ah, ” said the nurse, “He was trying to be kind
To help you along, you see…. he was blind! ”

Chris Higginson.
2nd Provocative Verse

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Comments (2)

this is a nice write here I enjoyed it
Yes, I found this yellowed poem in your folder, lol It is so beautiful; I just love stuff like this. Bless you for writing it. Your new poem led me straight to it; -)