The fruits of a residency at Dumfries Royal Infirmary and Crichton Royal, this collection by Fife-based poet Maureen Sangster celebrates some of those workers who are not so visible in hospitals - among them the ladies of the sewing and linen services, porters, caterers and hairdressers. It is also a moving, thoughtful, humane and humorous meditation on health, life, death, recovery, sadness and happiness in a location - the hospital - where all of these things are brought sharply into focus. Includes line illustrations by the author.
CLOTH AND KINDNESS
The Sewing Room is far below
All the wards so neither patients
Nor their visitors go
To where the linen's stored
In piles of pillowcases and sheets
That, though flat and rectangular or square,
Seem like sleeping pets, tame snowcats ï¿½
For whiteness is everywhere!
I had to go where cloth is.
There is nothing kinder than cloth in this world.
Lay your cheek against its fresh gentleness
And you rest against love,
The vastness of it.
It is always
At the most forgotten levels
That you find the infinite dedicated care
That is love. I pulled
The soft geography of The Sewing Room about me
And was still.