A poem submitted anonymously by a Trainee Paramedic living in Glasgow.
Glass crunching under foot;
police warning notices spread like paper
Ply board instead of windows;
silence from inside, at first.
Darkness envelops us that bright winter morning
in a home lost to preventable despair.
Hunched, broke but persevering. Just.
sits a man with the name of a star.
Gashes to his face,
echoing those in his mind.
Eyes; kind and too knowing
not that people would meet them in the street.
The drink, a curse that can’t be shifted,
the upbringing harsh and too commonplace
A man victim to nothing in his control,
reaching out to steady himself.
Thick hands, fingers stained brown;
grasp at sleeves of a trusted leather jacket.
Slow moving, more sure with each step;
the star hovers at the edge of that darkness.
Laid down under soft blue ambulance blankets,
colour returns, a joke about Belfast is told.
Laughter; deep, characteristic of loud pubs,
the man below the sickness shines, if only breifly.
His last words to us at A&E,
place on a chair with nurses tending at his side
“Thank you for the basic civility”