The Hospital Collection: Ashford & St Peter’s

Nice ambulance journey.
Of course my blood sugar is fine,
you stupid people.

I don’t need a wheelchair,
seriously. “Your trousers
are falling down.” All right.

Strip off for an ECG,
don’t care who sees my tits.
Shake and cry, cry and

shake some life into me.
Transfer beds: someone
needs it more than I do.

Speak to Jeremy, a specialist
liar. He said I’m crazy because
I am a writer. He said I could sleep

in A&E. They kicked me out.
Your ECG is alarming, and there’s
a problem with your blood tests.

Why have I been discharged then?
Your ECG is fine, so are your blood
tests. Please leave or we’ll phone

the police were horrible. I am having
a breakdown. I am screaming and
shaking uncontrollably. Please leave

they said. I can’t get home. I have no
money or sense, I can’t get home.
Well then, we’ll phone

social services were bloody useless.
I waited hours in the waiting room,
befriending crackheads and junkies.

They looked after me, they gave me
hand rolled cigarettes and a blanket.
I sat in the lobby, spaced out, sobbing.

A lady bought me a hot chocolate.
I thought it had been spiked. I thanked
her, I didn’t touch it.

I scared a child. The little boy was
terrified of me. The crazy lady in
the lobby, the crazy lady.

His mum took him away. I found
a small room with a telephone,
and called my partner. He phoned

a cab company. I escaped.
My hospital gown billowing,
the ravens were crying in the sky.

I was crying in my heart, and
nausea almost killed me. I stumbled
from cab to front door, dropped my

keys. Let myself in. Died inside.
She ran me a hot bath, she hid
the razor blades, she made me soup.

She tidied my room while I sat in bed,
and waited for him to arrive. He bought
pizza and fed me and held me when I cried.

Jeremy lied. He said I could sleep.
He lied. He said I was safe there.
He lied. Jeremy, the specialist liar.

Never again, I said, Ashford & St
Peter’s, never again, I said
never again.

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