Visiting Time

Hey everyone. It has been said by many who are wiser than I that some people know you better than you will ever know yourself. I think this poem kinda illustrates that point. It is based on the true story of a hospital visit which happened in the winter of 1973 my last winter before I reached my teens and shows how my cousin knew the secrets I would never tell my parents or my elder brother and she knew them without me saying a word. I have called the poem Visiting Time and I hope you enjoy the read.

Visiting Time

It was a cold Saturday night
my mum dad and brother
came to the hospital
to bring the usual gifts
of sympathy and grapes
small talk was exchanged
and I sensed their awkwardness knowing they would sooner be at home
watching the Generation Game
in front of a nice warm fire
so would I, but I was in hospital for a weekend stay
My cousin was with them
she chatted in a far more natural way
gave one of her old annuals to read Fab 208
packed with pictures and stories of pop stars
not to mention pages of fashion and style
it was this gift which kept me smiling
whilst in my hospital bed
and for many weeks after my release
it was in those pages I started to dream of mini skirts and maxi dresses
I would one day wear to a dance
where a boy would take me to another world
I would be his girl not his secret
nor someone to be hidden under a carpet
or blanket of shame
I loved to escape to the world of girls
and this was my key to the place I longed to be in
my cousin must have known me even better than I thought
on that bleak November night
when she parted with her annual
before leaving to go home
as she walked away her smile told a story
I wouldn’t find in books or magazines
of dreams she knew I had
but was not yet ready to share

@Gayle Smith 2014


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