II

A SQUARE:, squat room (a cellar on promotion),
Drab to the soul, drab to the very daylight;
Plasters astray in unnaturallooking tinware;
Scissors and lint and apothecary's jars.

Here, on a bench a skeleton would writhe from,
Angry and sore, I wait to be admitted:
Wait till my heart is lead upon my stomach,
While at their ease two dressers do their chores.

One has a probe — it feels to me a crowbar.
A small boy sniffs and shudders after bluestone.
A poor old tramp explains his poor old ulcers.
Life is (I think) a blunder and a shame.

References

Henley, W. E. "In Hospital." Poems. 2nd edition. London: David Nutt, 1889. p. 4.


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Last modified 26 November 2004