Sunday, 28 November 2010

Poem of the Week: 'Five Short Poems for Your Amusment at the Hospital', by Priscila Uppal

Five Short Poems for Your Amusement at the Hospital
Priscila Uppal

Manage your room like a hotel.
Phone down for food
and flowers. Be conspicuous
about guests.

Steal the robes.

Think of the things you've chased:
your brother when he was small
and used to pinch your cheeks, the moon,
the cat next door in the garden,
streelights when they turn too fast, the rain,
fire, bureaucrats, all kinds of balls, lovers,
the express bus, shame, your mother's

Think that the world must now
come to you.

The kidneys are outrageous organs
greedy and unkind
they unwind
by punching people
in the ribs.

Who wants to make peace with them anyway?

The nurse and doctor have been
having an affair
for the last month

hot for each other
they run their hands on your belly
burning up

and you are the embers
keeping romance alive.

When they insist on taking more blood
and x-rays
pretend you are a prehistoric mammal
they are laying bare
to read your bones
uncover how you managed to survive
all this time.

(Taken from Successful Tragedies: Poems 1998 - 2010).


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