Hospital Poems

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Hospital Poems

  • A hospital isn’t a home
    There’s no room for emotions – and no space to cry
    A hospital isn’t a home
    There’s no hugs and kisses – and no one knows why

    A hospital isn’t a home
    And does anyone really care
    A hospital isn’t a home
    But I can’t be anywhere but here

  • I stare into the white walls of space,
    Eyes looking at me sorrowfully,
    I wish I could just say,
    “It’s okay- this happens everyday!”
    But then they would be even more sorry.

  • This is where your heartbeat lingers:
    somewhere between hospital bed sheets
    and the new-found aching in my chest.

    The bed in which you slept
    has been soiled by silent tears
    and your nervous sweat.

    You were always home to me,
    but I was robbed by all your misery.

    Replace your sorrows with an absence
    of yourself, and I’ll make my home
    in your hospital bed sheets.

    For some, this is a place of miracles.
    For us, it’s one of tragedy.

  • Three pounds a month they
    ask, save the Tiger, save the
    Panda, save the Jaguar, save
    the rain forest.
    Three pounds a month for
    the children’s hospital and
    for the save the children’s
    fund, the RSPCA, RSPB,
    Cancer research, just, only
    three pounds a month, now
    my pockets are empty with
    all these donations.
    Our governments, they also
    donate, mainly to the
    yes those poor sods who
    caused the majority of man’s
    suffering with their greed and
    Please just three pound a
    month for the Daniel
    Cheesemans poetry fund.

  • Another would-be life slips down a hospital sluice –
    a mangled tangle of tissue, a broken bouquet of limb buds.
    Carmine carnage reduced to simplistic statistic.
    But these hospitals are blanched mausoleum-white,
    operating slabs are sarcophagi, stirruped legs are strung high,

    and a crimson slurry seeps from between splayed thighs.
    Death-pimp doctors are gloved and gowned, loom grandiose,
    assume arrogance and surgical masks of indifference.
    Feminine thought frisks to freedom now:
    the biannual foreign holiday, career climbing and the company car.

    Birth is an inconvenient blip on the social calendar.
    Huddled horror-mute before my Philips flatscreen last night,
    peering through the fretwork of my fingers,
    a sickening frisson shivered through me; vertiginous waves
    breaking on my body’s shore, faintness flooding my head.

    Today I cannot elude my abhorrence;
    it overshadows me, obliterates former complacency.
    Tonight people will be on the pull in club-clotted towns,
    and bedsprings will squeak a soulless sound
    as more life is made to be taken.

  • I’m staring at the iv bag
    praying it would just
    empty faster but i know
    that’ll do no good and
    it’ll take at least another
    two or three hours and
    you’re sitting in what
    looks to be the most
    uncomfortable chair
    in the world and i
    invite you to lay on
    the most uncomfortable
    hospital bed in the world
    with me but you said you
    didn’t want to take up too
    much space and crush me
    but to be honest i don’t
    think i’d mind being
    smothered by you
    i’d still love you

  • Hospitals remind me of my father.

    The chilly fluorescent lights stinging.
    So much pain, but
    It has to go somewhere.


    Most people forget it exists until it’s too late-
    Life or death,
    And maybe hope.

    She wasn’t as gentle as I would be,
    Spoonfeeding him.

    His back, crooked, hunched.
    His gnarled hands, like weathered wood.
    My head on his chest.

    I remember late nights,
    Doing homework on my lap.
    Pinching siblings overwhelmed by boredom.

    I barely recall the sound of his voice.

  • It’s not that I don’t like the hospital.
    Those small bouquets of flowers, pert and brave.
    The smell of antiseptic cleansers.
    The ill, so wistful in their rooms, so true.
    My friend, the one who’s dying, took me out
    To where the patients go to smoke, IV’s
    And oxygen in tanks attached to them—
    A tiny patio for skeletons. We shared
    A cigarette, which was delicious but
    Too brief. I held his hand; it felt
    Like someone’s keys. How beautiful it was,
    The sunlight pointing down at us, as if
    We were important, full of life, unbound.
    I wandered for a moment where his ribs
    Had made a space for me, and there, beside
    The thundering waterfall of his heart,
    I rubbed my eyes and thought, “I’m lost.”

  • Grip my hand
    Don’t ever let go,
    Just give me one more chance
    To let you know,
    I didn’t mean what I said
    And I never thought you’d be here,
    In an hospital bed,
    Lying cold, numb, almost dead,
    And I can’t take it,
    Please pull through I know you can make it,
    Don’t leave me here
    Make me shed this tear
    You’re all I’ve got,
    Even if I appreciated it or not,
    You’ve always been there,
    Near or far apart,
    Even though I didn’t realize,
    You were in my heart,
    And I know you’re strong
    And to this fate you don’t belong,
    I need you here to comfort me,
    I need to you to fight,
    Don’t shut your eyes,
    Don’t fall into the light,
    Because if you go, my world will fall apart,
    And I’ll have a broken heart,
    And now as you lie here I know,
    I’ve always needed you,
    Right from the very start,
    And I’m not letting you go.

  • They stood, almost blocking the pavement,
    As though at a window display;
    The stretcher was pushed in position,
    The ambulance started away.

    Past porches and pavements and people
    It plunged with its powerful light
    Through streets in nocturnal confusion
    Deep into the blackness of night.

    The headlights picked out single faces,
    Militiamen, stretches of street.
    The nurse with a smelling-salts phial
    Was rocked to and fro on her seat.

    A drain gurgled drearily. Cold rain
    Was falling. The hospital-clerk
    Took out a fresh form of admission
    And filled it in, mark upon mark.

    They gave him a bed by the entrance;
    No room in the ward could be found.
    Strong iodine vapour pervaded
    The draught from the windows around.

    His window framed part of the garden,
    And with it a bit of the sky.
    The newcomer studied the floorboards,
    The ward and the objects nearby,

    When, watching the nurse’s expression
    Of doubt, in her questioning drive,
    He suddenly knew this adventure
    Would hardly release him alive.

    Then, grateful, he turned to the window
    Behind which the wall, further down,
    Was breathing like smouldering tinder,
    Lit up by the glare of the town.

    There, far off the city was glowing
    All crimson-aflame; in its swell
    A maple-branch, ragged, was bowing
    To bid him a silent farewell.

    ‘0 Lord,’ he was thinking, ‘how perfect
    Thy works are, how perfect and right;
    The walls and the beds and the people,
    This death-night, the city at night!

    ‘I drink up a sedative potion,
    And weeping, my handkerchief trace.
    0 Father, the tears of emotion
    Prevent me from seeing Thy face.

    ‘Dim light scarcely touches my bedstead.
    It gives me such comfort to drift
    And feel that my life and my lot are
    Thy priceless and wonderful gift.

    ‘While dying in fading surroundings
    I feel how Thy hands are ablaze,
    The hands that have made me and hold me
    And hide like a ring in a case.’