MAG Poetry Competition 2010 – 4th Prize Winner

Life goes on

by Emma Stapleton

This hospital,
Imposing, grey,
Forever wakeful, night and day
Birth, death, great secrets, dusk til dawn
Then dawn til dusk
As life goes on
This gentleman,
Immersed in pain
Reluctant, calls the nurse again
Metallic jab, then slowly numb
As time stands still
Whilst life goes on
This surgeon
Kind, though seems austere
Fresh beads of sweat conceal his fear
Knife! Blood!  Swabs!  Suture!  Work’s begun.
He concentrates
Thus life goes on
This lady
Grips a handkerchief
Courageous smile hides fearful grief
With trembling hands she calls her son
“Your father’s sick,
But life goes on”
This nurse
In crisp white uniform
Adjusts the sheets to keep him warm
He thanks her, but is overcome
By sickness, pain,
Still, life goes on
This gentleman
Collapses, falls
“Oh nurse! Come quick!” the lady calls
Alarms, machines, the crash team run
They give their all
But life is gone
This hospital
Will never sleep,
As daylight breaks, the lady weeps
The surgeon’s gruelling shift is done
The nurse walks home
And life goes on

Added: 18.03.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


love the use of repetition


life goes on, is a clear depiction of life in the the hospital and all there is in time's eye. It is creatively painful and hommorous.


Oh wow, Best poem I have read so far, It made me cry! I admire your talent :)


Simple and straightforward, but I liked the circular feel, ending where it began. Life and death for the patients,just another day for staff


Beautiful and very moving - wonderful rhythm and great economy of language to make your powerful points.


liked the way the repetitions built up to add to the poem


Very clever poem and a good ending.


Liked the rhythm would have given it more but too close to losing my dad in a hospital that didn'r care.


I enjoyed the way the rhymes seem to mimic the daily grind of life going on despite the tragedies.


Parallel phrases and echoed words work well.


Very very nice..poem i really love this poem. poet describe real image of a hospital and its patient terrible suffering..Good job.


A clever poem. Rythmic, reads well, says a lot.