two poems



Bomb Damage


Something was itching my eyes to stare
over at the machines .

Only I seemed to hear the bleeping
yet my whole family was standing there
and everyone who had ever lived,

the whole universe even, all screaming
not to look. Yet the bleeping seemed

to bounce off every childhood picture
and get-well card
in the Zagreb hospital:
like a ball to my feet.

Then I made my mistake
and looked at a face,
a kind of no-face with holes for eyes
nose, mouth,

legs missing from the knees down
still stuck to all those bits of shrapnel
somewhere, which banged her life apart.
A little girl, bandaged

in mummy, almost pretty.
Some nurse had taken an age
getting each lap perfect
so proud that when we look

we might still see a person,
someone whole.



Going Back To Then
For Sandra Simpson 1967


I am me
that’s not meant to be a rude thing
but I don’t want to be you
not anymore

I dreamed of nothing else but being you
the pain burned holes in my hurt
I just wanted you to look at me

say hello, smile. Yes a kiss
would be too much to ask.
So instead you waved,
the kind that said

yes, we can be friends
nothing else.














Copyright � 2005