This is the leg that had a cut
and this is the germ that crawled right in
This is the fever that came on fast
and this is the bed of hot and cold
This is the dash for help at dawn
and this is the Doctor who acted quick
This is the blip he expertly spots
and this is the query? a bad surprise
This is the Doctor who ordered a scan
and this is the specialist and her machine
This is the findings in black and white
and this is me, reluctant to hear it
This is the waiting.
This is the fun, I thought on the way
and this is the town I’ve never been to
This is the map I followed along
and this is the clinic here, at 3
This is the waiting room, hot and full
and this is the baby crawling about
This is the consultant, halfway through
and this is his list of people to see
This is my turn, ushered in
and this is the battle of wills he wasn’t expecting
This is the way he lays it out
and this is the way I scrumple that up
This is the reasoning he tries after that
and this is the stare I give him.
This is the way he doesn’t flinch
and this is the way I keep on looking
This is the moment I almost break
and this is him, looking down first, shuffling his papers
This is the victory.
This is the part when he offers to tell me a story
and this is me bluntly saying I don’t need a story.
This is my questioning, the need to know the long words
and this is him almost dismissive.
This is my insistence,
and this is his acceptance and then a thorough explanation
This is the professional covert glance at the clock.
This is the moment of me expressing how I feel about it all emotionally
and this is him spitting it out.
This is his bald outline of how the facts are totally different to how I feel about it.
This is me staring him down (again),
and this is me not crying not crying not crying.
For Gods’ sake, do not cry, you fool.
This is my question of ‘what ifs’, the prospect of not doing anything, nothing at all
and this is the outcome: death
This is the low blow about seeing my children grow up
This, this is my consent.
This is me poised and tall until the exit and down the stairs and out the door and round the corner
and this is me on a bench in the churchyard, crying.
This is the pub where I stop and consider a drink
and this is the courtyard of builders
This is the reality – do I really think I’m going to sit in there with a drink by myself and not pique their attention?
This is what usually happens to me.
And so this is the bus home.
This is the mac and this is the desk and these are the paints and here are the words
and this is the haven I’ve built.
And this poem is the furious revenge.