The Church in Hospital

Heavily bandaged and splinted, the church now lies perspiring
Underneath the sheets, while experts clamber round and over,
Extracting samples, fixing lines. Like any other patient,
This one also suffers from perpetual noise and treatment;
Is limp and weary from exhaustion and poor ventilation.
Visitors come away distressed. Next of kin remonstrate
And question the authorities who try avoiding confrontation
With 'comfortable', satisfactory' and the use of jargon.

I went in, avoiding leaky drainage tubes, noting scars and
Possible incontinence. The Church appeared to have a virus -
Some mild infection and a heightened temperature. I
Sat, supportive, by a pillar, wishing I could hold its hand;
Regretting I had not brought flowers.

Ann R Parker
St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 15th September 2001