Outpatient

August in Hammersmith/You don’t know who you’re with.
— Robyn Hitchcock

Ecru muslin cleaves to the bum,
Or ever shorter shorts for some.
Three aquiline ectomorphs all smile.
Sister, brother, other? Meanwhile
It’s always time to be young, no
Even with brave scooter kids in tow
Who know the green cross code. Oh
They must know! Okay, they know.

Outside A and E, a nurse in scrubs
Says “I’ll take you back into hospital.”
Bent double on a half wall, blood
On his forehead, nodding, frail,
An ill-shod man won’t hear or agree.
Half a mile on, another bent double,
Frail, on a low bench, tapping his knee.
Some of us are in trouble.

Summer is distracted, letting itself go,
Can’t be bothered to put on a show.

Thunder from the buildout of King Street
Is not Jehovah’s p.a. The news sheet
Today is on capitalism and class war.
Apparently the pandemic is…blah blah blah.
Outside the Lyric Theatre, ineffectual
Leafletters pine for the intellectual.
While dad-bellied, a shirtless old get
Hugs himself like he’s only just met.


Photo: Butterfly outside Charing Cross Hospital

Author: Stephen Moran

I was born in Dublin and made my way to London on a bike in my mid-twenties. It’s where I can still be found though ever further out, most recently as far as Harrow. I no longer own a bicycle.