General Poems

In the Children’s Ward

A Sonnet for G.M. Hopkins

Behold the hands of God in the feverish
And sick. Behold their shining halos, there
Above their heads, as they lie smiling in
Their beds and run their fingers through their hair.
Sweet Margaret — you smile? When I can’t bear
To look at you and see your scars? Outside
It’s autumn. You could run and jump in piles
Of leaves, or play with us a game of hide
And seek in all the old elm trees behind
Our house — but these sad dreams will never be.
The sullen doctors speak in whispers and
Just shake their heads when you aren’t looking. Me,
I’m half a man now — yet you smile? What heart
Has heard of this, your game, your endless art?


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