As part of the Writing East Midlands ‘Write Here’ programme, Poet and Director of National Poetry Day Jo Bell spent a number of days at the Royal Derby Hospital in departments, public and waiting areas observing a little of hospital life. From that experience she has written this corona of seven poems, called Waiting.
“The last line of poem one is the first line of poem two and so on. The last poem closes the circle, finishing with the first line of the whole sequence. the pieces are set in seven different locations around the hospital site. from my time in the hospital I observed the waiting is often central to the hospital experience; waiting for an ambulance, waiting for the phone to be answered, waiting for an appointment or results”
There’s birdsong even here. If you’ve an ear for it,
you might distinguish warbler from wren
between the song of car door, keyfob bip
and Lesser Spotted Handbrake. But then
you’re in no mood for birdwatching today.
The cars manoeuvre round you, ballet-slow
emptying and occupying bays.
The shuttle buses shuttle in, and go.
You’re here to see someone, or hear the news;
your eyes and ears are closed. The hour drags on
but it will pass like traffic; like a bruise.
Even the greyest days are flecked with song.
Best listen, if they’re singing anyway. There
behind this, waiting, is another day.
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