chris english
Hospital Ward, Oil colour on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. © C. English.

Hospital Ward

Lying flat, tilted back, watching the sun flowering
The window of the ward,
Birds soar in a horizonless sky,
The orthopaedic ward has become a world
Through the months,
Walls of houses have been torn down
To reveal humanity in the street.
A spectacle of people in a theatre of reality.
Racked limbs strung up in webs of strings and pulleys
For the man whose wife {?}
In her graceful animal furs
Complained of having no holiday, and the mother-in-law.
No doors are closed to hidden stresses,
Pain tells who you are.
The Airforce pilot flung out of a car,
Landing on his back, prospects of a crippled future.
The hallucinating patient who saw spirits.
The Greek cultured family around their injured son
While their mother breast-feeds the youngest.
The gypsies…..
Religion, pornography, daily papers.
Lonely men, anxious and afraid.
Families gathering around their General Joe.
The breaking and pulling back together again
Bones, emotions, relationships.
People mellowed into coping,
For some,
Having been through it all before.
Resilient, astonishing attitudes
That had pulled through,
To have lived through,
To have seen through
A shattered importance.

© C. English