Medicine

(without a pharmacy)

All the chambers
within my breast
all four or six
in measure test
beat and pump
both blood and air
taste every second
in life’s brief care
where beauty,
duty and necessity
meet
where waiting
our appointed end
cannot cheat
So each hand
into my hand
does pass
I hold with love
as were it
the last.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..