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 MoonCompletes her comforting brave-faced round;Parting the curtains of desolate Night,Being both symbol and earnest substance of the LightSo you, Dionne the Nurse, traversed and gracedThat God-riddled, time-fractured wilderness;Favoured the huddled Abrahamic tentWhere lay my brain-struck only sonAnd I, bent over him,The past a blur, the future blank,The trackless present freeze-framed in hopeThat I might see again a finger moveOr hear a word, or be assuredHe knew no pain (Ciaran! My Son! My Son!);I went colour-blind, tunnel-visionedThrough 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 morningWhen you bade him choose a T-shirtAnd he slowly raisedA palsied hand.A hand heavier to liftAnd more profoundThan all the Moon-bound oceansOf the round blue Earth.
(Excerpt from “Bogha-frois san Oidhche/ Rainbow in the Night”, The Handsel Press, 1997)
See also "Let Us Not Yet Speak of Love"