DH (1st April 1947 / Bradford, West Yorkshire)

Porters Lament


Sat here so quiet in my white coat and gown
The queue of the injured has slowly gone down.
All kinds of people, the young and the old
A child fight’s a tear and tries to be bold.

The nurse’s are busy but calm as can be
The doctors examine, but what do they see?
An old person fallen, and frightened to death
A lonely old lady who fight’s for her breath.

The time it moves slowly, my shift nears its end
The words that I write are for your eye’s my friend.
On the roads or the home, please take extra care!
Don’t you be the next, for my waiting wheelchair.*

*(Written whilst working as a Casualty Porter at Bradford Royal Infirmary in 1973 and consequently published in “Poetry Now 1994.)

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