Too bright! Too bright!
Whole world screamed white,
Disconnected words swim round her head,
Scratched the bites until they bled.
This is what the angels said,
Gathered round her floating bed,
Can’t be still, keep turning,
Though every move means pain,
Racked with coughs, again, again.
Feel it come, sweet oblivion.
Learn to love delirium.
Six months for the world to still,
Half a year with time to kill,
Find new strength, regain the will,
Place fresh blooms upon your window sill.
‘Gone with the Wind’, a GI picture show,
How was she supposed to know
It took four hours to reach the end
And now in company with new found friends,
Clinging to the hurtling jeep,
Brought safely to the gate
Where mothers furious vigil keep
Too late to scold. It’s far too late.
The daughters they once knew have fled,
Young women marching home instead.
The photo shows mother and daughters in Tehran. This was after my mother’s recovery from typhus. Note her short hair only just grown back after she had lost it all in the course of the illness.