It wakes when I wake, walks
when I walk, turns back when I
turn back, beating me to the door.
It spoils my food and steals
my sleep, and mocks me, saying,
“Where is your God now?”
And so, like a widow, I lie down
after supper. If I lie down
or sit up it’s all the same:
the days and nights bear me along.
To strangers I must seem
alive. Spring comes, summer;
cool clear weather; heat, rain….
About this poem
This poem is included in the second edition of Tools of the Trade: Poems for new doctors (Scottish Poetry Library, 2016). The anthology was edited by Kate Hendry; Dr Lesley Morrison, GP; Dr John Gillies, GP and Chair, Royal College of GPs in Scotland (2010-2014); Revd Ali Newell, and Lilias Fraser. A copy of the first edition was given to all graduating doctors in Scotland in 2014 and 2015, and with support from RCGPS and the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland, to all graduating doctors in 2016, 2017 and 2018. We are very grateful for the individual donations which funded the cost of this anthology, and to the Deans of the Scottish medical schools who made it possible to give the books to their graduating students.