mercredi, décembre 07, 2011

A Poem for Dionne

(For Nurse Dionne Franklyn, Ward 7 (neurological),
Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, 1990)

As the exact white form of the Moon
Completes her comforting brave-faced round;
Parting the curtains of desolate Night,
Being both symbol and earnest substance of the Light
So you, Dionne the Nurse, traversed and graced
That God-riddled, time-fractured wilderness;
Favoured the huddled Abrahamic tent
Where lay my brain-struck only son
And I, bent over him,
The past a blur, the future blank,
The trackless present freeze-framed in hope
That I might see again a finger move
Or hear a word, or be assured
He knew no pain (Ciaran! My Son! My Son!);
I went colour-blind, tunnel-visioned
Through that sterile land.
No horizon quickened,
No sky shone kind beyond the vitreous sand;
The flowers faded, stiffened as they dried.
Wall-eyed, I carried him when he tearless cried.
But you bathed him with your gentle humour,
Buoyed him with photos of your dippy dog -
"Here's Kally with a big blue balloon in her teeth!
And she didn't even burst it! Imagine!" –

Then that morning
When you bade him choose a T-shirt
And he slowly raised
A palsied hand.

A hand heavier to lift
And more profound
Than all the Moon-bound oceans
Of the round blue Earth.
(Excerpt from “Bogha-frois san Oidhche/ Rainbow in the Night”, The Handsel Press, 1997)