The Consultation

by Peter Branson

Can’t take it in, subtract what’s salient,
the facts that matter from the matter of fact.
Distant church bell, his lines, what’s in between,
the scent of daffodils, just won’t parse out.
Your world is closing in yet it’s not you.
Later, when he has gone, the questions hit
and run, the tears, the goings over stuff,
relentless measurings of bad or good.
It’s broken out and yet the nodes look clear.
You’re hanging on to nurses’ lore; their down-
to-earthiness is comforting somehow
and yet, in truth, they know no more than you.
What sticks, like bread and butter when your throat’s
as parched as hay, he wished her best of luck.

Peter Branson has been published by journals in Britain, USA, Canada, EIRE, Australia and New Zealand, including Acumen, Ambit, Envoi, The London Magazine, Iota, Frogmore Papers, South and Other Poetry. His first collection was published in 2008, a second early this year and a pamphlet this May. A third collection has been accepted by Salmon Press, Eire.
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Pat Jones
Published October 3 2010