Guest Poem by Jenny Hamlett

Jenny Hamlett has an MA in creative writing and has 2 full length collections published by Indigo Dreams Publishing. She has worked as a creative writing tutor with Link into Learning and other agencies in Cornwall and has read her poems across the south. Retired now she belongs to Second Light, Open University Poets and locally, Company of Poets.


Too early and unsteady
I walk slowly along the half-empty corridor.
My glasses steam as I breathe,
blotting out direction signs and leaving me
stranded in a boat without oars.

What has happened to me?
What has happened to the alert,
making a joke of my hearing,
proud of my lip reading, me?

I fumble my way to a receptionist.
She says something. I hesitate.
She points towards some chairs.
I sit, get up and go back. Sorry,
I say, I’m deaf. I won’t hear the call.

I think it must have worked.
A figure in grey
hospital uniform shuffles forward.

I follow him, hoping
this is the right thing to do.
We enter a smaller area.
The man speaks. I hesitate,
look towards the changing rooms.

He says something angry and points
to a hard, red plastic chair.

I’m out of my depth, sit hunched
and silent over my bag.
At a distance, a tough-looking youth,
in trench coat and thick black mask
removes it for a few seconds.

He says, They don’t understand.
The rope he’s swung towards me holds.
Thanking him I smile, hoping
he can see it in my eyes,
and scramble ashore;
the shreds of my identity holding hands.