Poems to share

Freedom Fighter

(for Jacob, a true warrior)

 

he doesn’t notice the smell
of disinfectant any more

or the lights
and the feel
of hospital sheets

the wounds
where the hickman line*
was inserted
hurt

but he fights

his face
limbs
body
are swollen by steroids

he is bald

but he fights

three birthdays
pass

a sister is born

friends
in shiny shoes
start school

he watches
others ring the
end-of-treatment bell
on the ward

watches others
who never will

he fights
and he fights

through despair
____into hope

and a bell
starts to ring

Jacob’s hand
____on the rope

 

(*A hickman line is a thin tube inserted in your neck to allow doctors to administer medicine directly into veins)

Matt Goodfellow

Matt Goodfellow is a poet and primary school teacher from Manchester. His most recent collection of poems, Carry Me Away, was published in 2016. He spends half his week as a teacher, and the other half touring the UK, visiting schools, libraries and festivals to deliver high-energy, inspirational poetry performances and workshops. He has forthcoming collections with Macmillan and Otter-Barry Books.