Today neat rows of plastic anthuriums
lack empathy. And birdsong breezing
sweet notes from nearby oaks
does little to lighten dread.
I’ve seen this consultant enough to know
news is not good. A split-second sense;
his staged welcome, self-conscious as
Mr Bell, left fist clenched to quell
a cough, delivers his script with practised
compassion. My only words: that bad?
Within three months?
Deafening tick-tocks count time—
time to shake hands with the present
and its past; time to let go of the future.
Now every sleep, a rehearsal for death.
Paul Waring is a retired clinical psychologist who once designed menswear and was a singer/songwriter in Liverpool bands. A 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee, Paul has had poems published in Prole, The High Window, Atrium, Algebra of Owls, Amaryllis, Clear Poetry, Strix, Marble Poetry, Lampeter Review and others. https://waringwords.wordpress.com