‘His Heart’ by Raymond Antrobus

His Heart

turned against him in a chicken shop.
He said my heart is falling out

as he slipped into dreams
of his mother in Jamaica.

He came through in hospital, longing
for the woman, dead twenty years.

His son visits and they spend
half an hour holding hands.

There is a needle in his arm
and blood in his colostomy bag.

He asks the nurse if he can go to the post office
to buy his daughter a postcard

but forgiveness does not
have an address.

Madge is the first girl he kissed in Jamaica –
white floral dress, scent of thyme and summer.

She visits his hospital dreams.
Madge is not the nurse who dissolves

painkillers in his water.
He does not drink with his eyes open.

His son turns on the radio,
it is A Rainy Night In Georgia.

His son, a blur
on a wooden chair.
Raymond Antrobus is a British-Jamaican poet, performer and educator, born and bred in East London, Hackney. He is co-curator of Chill Pill and Keats House Poets Forum. His poems have been published in The Rialto, Magma Poetry, Oxford Diaspora’s Programme, British Council Literature, Shooter Literary Journal, The Missing Slate, Morning Star, Media Diversified and forthcoming in POETRY magazine, Wasafiri and Ten Anthology, (Bloodaxe). He was selected for The Complete Works 3. Twitter @RaymondAntrobus