Patrick James Errington
They Don’t Make Gods For Non-Believers: Poetry Competition Winner
When I tell him I’m dying, my doctor says I’ll die years and years from now if I’m careful, so I will die, then, I say, but carefully. After all, if it’s worth doing then it’s got to be worth doing carefully and my doctor agrees (he should). All the same you can be too careful, which is why I see him far less than is, quote-unquote, prudent. My doctor, I mean, not God. Him, I see so much more than should a devout non-believer. But never where I expect to – great storms, great losses and the like. Rather in the pale residues left behind latex gloves, or the soft patience of a painkiller. Maybe it’s a sign I’m approaching the end. Or it may just be the perfunctory depression of my tongue again, the requisite ah. Ah, as though comprehending. But let’s face it, comprehension’s not the issue. I mean, I can comprehend, like glass, that light, with all its grit and soft sine, comes apart into colour, but that hardly helps the halogen, hardly amounts to understanding. My doctor thinks his is a look of understanding, with all that plastic wisdom of sign and symptom, but understanding nothing of mine. Between you, me, and my god, my God I’ve got a lot to cower from. Which, I guess, means I should put faith in one of us. But Him I don’t trust any more than my doctor, or me, or any more than anyone else so reliant on terror in their acolytes, shivering and braille-skinned, deaths confessed to
and calendared. He laughs at my swithering, hands swaddled in the too-white light, reading my body, asking who I’m speaking to as I write this, kneeling, pages closing more quietly than hands on the bed.
Poetry Competition Winner 2016