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'Til Death Do Us Part

Beda Higgins, Nurse.

In the dayroom mouths open and close

discussing sore knees with small sequinned eyes.

Photograph stills in grey, their translucent skins

and blue lips drift off into shallow sleeps

woken by the gong to paddle in for lunch.

It’s Quorn sausage and mash today.

Archie, what manner of meat is Quorn?

Unicorn, I think Margaret.

She smiles stroking his liver-spotted hand,

and ties a ribboned soft sigh in a bow of love.


‘TIL DEATH DO US PART grew from my observations on a geriatric unit as a student. It was a well-run unit which allowed the patients to hold onto their dignity and identity whilst having their health care needs addressed. The poem came specifically from watching and listening to a married couple who had been admitted at the same time. They knew and loved each other so well, that they almost had a sixth sense telepathy between them.

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