Poetry

All Saints and the Day of an Operation

By midnight, All Souls, you will be sleeping
the sleep of the drugged, wake in a grey light
and wonder where you are, touch your wound
think the bed lamp is a moon. Above

where no eye can see the saints
have done their handover like a shift
of nursing staff. Supremely confident
white-winged, white-coated who

on earth were often strained and queer
devout in ways that lead to awful consequence
which now they float free from: extreme
to extreme reward. All Souls brings

your breakfast on a tray, the human scope.
Your wound will be dressed, you sit up
marvelling at the ordinary, the complete
that cannot be removed by surgery.

Elizabeth Smither

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