For every hand I held, for every laboured breath,
there will be a pearl of barrier cream
bestowed on each vertebra of an old man’s spine
I will think of my grandfather – half way
across the world – his face to a window,
curtains billowing with scents of ylang-ylang.
For every bell that shakes this treatment room,
for all the slices of ambulance lights
darting like the kingfishers of my town,
there will be a home to return to – I will lift
a cut of tsaá from the countertop, and look back
to find the garden lawn has grown waist-high.
For every comrade who runs to my side
as we surround the sandstone of a man’s chest,
resuscitate the Rosetta of his heart, and blow
scraps of life into his mouth, and for every sting
of a flat-line that trails us anywhere we turn,
there will be a hallway pixelating with light –
it will lead us outside where we can pull away
these beaten, surgical masks, where we can soak
in the surge of eastern breeze, the tanzanite bruise
of twilight will expose a star-flecked sky,
and one day they will mean more
than just a tally of losses.
I absolutely loved this poem and have since bought the book (mentioned above).