They had kind faces I was pleased to trust,
Pleased to give. (Cold water, cold water – cold
In the warm room where everything is blue
Or very red.) Blue plastic seats like hard
Curved clam shells, bodies in soft tunics like
Nursery walls. A cherry face, wispy
Grey curls: ‘I tell you, my dear,’ she muses
O’er my punctured flesh. ‘I didn’t know what
Day it was this morning!’ I saw my face
In the glossy ladybird sat on my
Fingertip. That was a strange joy – so quick
And full and soon to fly. My dear life’s blood
In nine minutes drained; my neighbour in five.
Fast blood was hers, like sharks. But slow or speed
Both new life give, old love save, as we bleed.