Cutting the Strings

by Patricia McCaw

I’m mute now in the public ward,
waiting, wanting at bitter last for you to die,
easy-out and instant
like a best-loved dog.

Your flesh is rusting iron,
the tang of borrowed blood,
sacs of it splashing your veins,
out again past the crippled backdoor.

Nothing can save you now.

Needle in, needle out, they sewed your suit,
filling flesh round a heart made huge by a hundred strangers.

I see your chest-bones, Dad,
sharp-arched, bare bones gone to earth.

I want to lift you hard by your heels, slapping the life out of you.