Poem by Terry Simpson
My ancestor was a wooden horse,
innocent on Troy’s hot plain,
deceptive and ambivalent.
I am a dream of science,
restless on a stormy, medieval night,
my mother a witch who must be tamed,
screaming down the hallway
at furious priests.
I am related to the drinks trolley
Edinburgh to London,
Hot tea and coffee,
crisps and Danish,
chocolate and Heineken,
need a receipt mate?
My arrival on the ward is the climax of the day.
They line up like penitents to Mass,
Nurses hand down the Holy Tablets,
(sometimes too the Syrup),
and the patients are redeemed.
They go back to doze before Deal or No Deal,
or to their beds to dream of Salvation,
(known as Discharge
in contemporary parlance).
My ancestor was a wooden horse.
Now I sit on the beige linoleum,
inside me psych-active warriors
Waiting their chance to subdue
The tiresome barbarians.