Home for Christmas


such a sweet name…

They left the hospital
while it was being done –
the cold air
took them by the arm;
streets, cars, people,
floated, swayed past.

I’ll do it, he said;
I haven’t lost one yet,
he added, but I will –
scalpel-sharp words
across thousands of miles
of traffic-noise,

their daughter’s screams
in their ears –
they couldn’t switch off
as they spacewalked around
the craters in Oxford Street,
with their deceptively firm
footholds of Christmas cheer.



© Nemo 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Not a happy homecoming by the sound of it. Not when terminal cancer is concerned.
The contrast between the parents’ anguish and the Oxford Street atmosphere of Christmas cheer comes across very poignantly.


I too would have been troubled by the surgeon’s pronouncement. Perhaps he was trying to tell the parents to rely on his ability but to be prepared to expect the worst.
Good job that his skill prevailed.


A powerful piece, very well expressed. Whole picture painted in few words, subtle reflection of their reaction. Impressed!


The structure does the heavy work here, Gerald. Tight, held -in lyrics that mirror the emotions. The use of Christmas cheer to pitch and raise anger in bitter comparison. In few words you show us the brittle vulnerability of the parents. All in all, a masterclass.


Well done Gerald, I concurr with Jim et al but what I like the most is the sense of detachment you convey in the parents, master class indeed.

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