The push and pull of morning wakes him.
Later this low sun will bake the glass,
gobble up the hospital in a headache of heat.
But now the day is shackled by his shame.
The nurse’s knock admits his failure, her
hasty gait places guilt on his anchored limbs.
A glass of tea reminds him of the world’s contact,
black tannin tethers him to the day.
Lynn Valentine writes between dog walks on the Black Isle in the Scottish Highlands. Her work has appeared in anthologies and online in places such as the Scottish Poetry Library blog, the Scottish Book Trust’s website and Ink, Sweat and Tears. She has been placed in competitions and is a previous winner of the Glasgow Women’s Library ‘Dragon’s Pen’ award. In 2018 she read at StAnza as part of the ‘My Time’ project and the Makar, Jackie Kay, described her poem as ‘a thing of beauty’.