01 November 2008

Her Gentle Hands (rev)


she only came at night
her gentle hands defused the
ticking bomb that was his brain
she soothed the pain and drew
his livid length inside to soothe
the welts and calluses

she sat astride to weld his broken
head with anxious gaze
and clever hands
gave praise
encouraged him
to try
to see
to open up his eyes.

at last he cried

she sighed and sighed and signified
repleteness of her solo ride
she kissed his salty tear-filled eyes
and said her name

when doctors came at dawn and found
him smiling in the bed relaxed
alert not comatose
or dead as half expected
they wondered out aloud
how it could be

Nurse Jenny Callendaur
he whispered then
in reverent voice
with awe-filled eyes
they shook their heads
there’s no such nurse the matron cried

a staffer checked the roll
replied with tremor in his voice
and widened eyes – in ’41 the
ward was bombed
she was the only one who died
© 2006, I.D. Carswell