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Urgent Referral by Jim Stewart-Evans February 21, 2012

Posted by vscorpiozine in New Poets.
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Urgent Referral

I arrive too early, searching
with fruitless glances, sit
facing the automatic doors
where I watch
an old woman wheel herself
pre-emptively
towards a waiting ambulance
and struggle,
briefly,
against the weak resistance
posed by the transition
from tile to carpet.

As I slide my silent phone out,
at that exact moment, you call
in a state of panic:
you haven’t parked the car
in half an hour’s trying, have lost
all sense of direction, yet outside
your car materialises
at the end of the road:
you pick me up venting;
nothing is going to plan;
narrowly avoid a collision,
abandon the car
abruptly
in a car park not 50 yards away.

You turn to throw me
the keys: I stoop
to catch them,
then at the pay machine
I realise that I can’t,
and have to flit back for change.

Together in the waiting room, nervously
calming down, talking
too quickly, before
too quickly, I am in the room,
waiting.

Sending texts back and forth
across the closed doors,
I ponder briefly whether
I could be the odd one
out: without mammary glands
in a breast clinic, then pull up
abruptly.

When you return we leave
immediately; it is but thickening
of tissues and shared relief.

As we pause by the car
I have a strong urge to hold you close,
stand inert, registering the need
for physical reassurance, mutual validation,
and in that moment you are compelled
to give your parking ticket to a stranger;
it not being due to expire just yet,
then me a lift
back to work.

Bio

  Jim Stewart-Evans started writing in 2010 as an occasional escape from a scientific career. His poetry has since been published in LeftLion magazine and in poetry anthologies, whilst his poem on health service reforms came runner-up in a columnist competition in Pulse, a GPs’ journal. He lives in Nottingham and recently featured as one of the headline poets at Nottingham’s monthly ‘Speech Therapy’ spoken word night.

His website can be found at: http://poetrysideline.blogspot.com/

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