Chemo café

Chemo café

A delicate me, skinny me, nearly held by the arm
She kindly asks me…as we travel…
My stick her soft click and slip along at a considerate pace
We chat nicely passing by…

Until we pop into
a café cluster of undressed limbs and jackets
Trolleys of packets – sugar shakers
every which way they sit up and read and doze and chat too while
Signal sentinels dish out liquor
and she attends them and
she helps me into
A comfy chair Dettol fresh wiped
My place and a towel and pillow
“Lovely” a meringue folded under the hurty bit
“That’s great, thanks a lot”
Radio 2 is tuned and light
We wait for our bits or wait…
To check our order is just so

By my chair, my trolley, my packets, stripped one by one
Over there lemon drizzle over bare cold caps
Intimate with women and men sharing, dripping tips
Warm soaked to elbows
Towel dry
Strapped my limb-bare arm bedded on a pillow
“Yes that’s fine”
Taped tapped the liquor pops in
in for 30 mins…

Our chemo café is full now
No sticky sicky stuff, just throth, biscuit light
Buzz tickle the whispered hums
We joust and jostle our lightest stuff
No regard for the hard stuff
All good health and hearty

30 mins up.
I am untapped now and she can straighten up.
Time to wrap up.
“Bye, see you next week.”

1 Response

  1. Paul Alan Barker October 13, 2014 / 11:59 am

    A hint of Alan Bennett here. I love Dettol fresh wiped and trolleys of packets….it reads like reportage, distanced objective recounting of events, but because of the music of the language it transcends that and becomes very personal. The common event of institutional healthcare, which we all experience in different ways, turned into something more meaningful. Really very beautiful I think.

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