Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

Rookie (8 November 1968 / Dublin Ireland)

Saving Sylvie - Poem by Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

I was restored by the sight of her
my bustling nursing Sylvie with long smiles,
and I told her so.
She shook her head, still smiling.

I am the last patient in a ward
of ten; the others have been cured
and moved on, to families
and welcomes home.
I am the death head’s at the feast.
No wonder Sylvie looks so glum.

If I weren’t here the rows of
starch and snow would be unbroken.
I would hold court on the balcony
be wheeled ceremoniously, one last time
to doctors’ jokes and nurses’smiles.
I would if I could but I won’t, you know.
I stay here just to spite you, Sylvie.

I hear they are remodelling the ward
where will they put me, I wonder?
In my darker nights I fantasise.
I am in a broom closet,
just me and the shelves
and Sylvie comes to pick up some bedlinen
and winks, woman to woman.


I am in the garden,
overgrown with ivy,
a living statue, a grey memorial
Comes my doctor with a bouquet
and behind her with a wreath,
the ever hopeful Sylvie
and she sighs, to see the empty line
on the headstone she donated.

In the bright day, I think
I may have misjudged her. I
love her even; like I love
the nectar in these tubes.
Ah, I am restored by the sight of her
galled, and reminded of my decreasing
and I told her so.
She just shook her head, still smiling.

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Comments about Saving Sylvie by Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

  • (3/31/2006 5:29:00 AM)


    I wonder through these lines at who Sylvie is-an angel, perhaps, the angel of death? You have such a delicate touch. Phillip (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 31, 2006



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