I spent this afternoon sharing home communion with members of the church who have not been out and about of late. One person in particular featured anonymously in the early life of this blog and reappears today.
This afternoon she was no closer to my reality than in previous months, her mind seemingly locked on a horizon far beyond that of any other but this afternoon I found the poem she has reminded of for months, even though the title, author and indeed the lines themselves have been elusive until now. It is by U.A. Fanthrope.
Sits, holding nurse's hard reassuring hand
In her own two small ones.
Is terrified. Mews in her supersonic
Panic voice: Help. Help Please.
Cries for Mummy, Daddy, Philip, the bus. Tries
To get up, to escape.
Is restrained by adult, would-be comforting
Hands and arms. Fights them.
Is brought a sweet warm drink, and is too shaky
With fear to swallow it.
The nurse cuddles her, snuggles the young amber
Ringlets against the grey.
Is not to be consoled. Her only comfort
The white blanket she hugs.
Whispers, Help, Help, Please. Cries for Mummy,
Philip. She is 83,
Resisting childhood as it closes in.