One Poem by Victoria Pickup

New Year’s Eve

My feet are cold,
Wrapped in a scratchy
NHS blanket
On a transformer wardrobe
That turned into a bed.
My daughter lies next to me,
Comfortable, snuffling quietly,
Cocooned within multiple folds
Of crisp white sheet.
She sleeps peacefully at last,
Her veins pumped full of antibodies,
To slay the infectious buggers
That had her vomiting,
Shaking, crying,
Doubled over on the toilet
On Boxing Day.
She is mending.
I can feel it in the soft mugginess
Of the air in our room,
Comforting, still.

It’s nine o’ clock.
I can hear a young child
Crying on the ward.
Downstairs the staff in purple scrubs
Polish off the mince pies
In quiet dread of the first
Abused partner,
Overdose of the night.


Victoria Pickup has written two collections of poetry and is a previous winner of the Café Writers competition, with her poem about a Bosnian chicken. Victoria lives in Hampshire with her husband and three children.

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