Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A poem by Josephine Corcoran



I never thought about you being fit or unfit

Father, we never talked about your disability
unless someone nodded at your legs or sticks or
catheter, your carrier bags of pills, your trembling arms.  We
know little more about it now and laugh, remembering when

you were re-assessed for Benefits and threw a drinks tray
over the people holding clip-boards.  You told them you were
useless, apologised for your shakes, asked them if they thought you’d make a waiter.

And near the end your leg was amputated. You
tipped whiskey in your spill-proof beaker, faced the sun, spilled ash everywhere;
overall, I couldn’t have wished for you to be lovlier;
sorry you’re no longer here, to tell Atos how you feel.



Josephine Corcoran (http://josephinecorcoran.wordpress.com/about/) was raised in a family entirely dependent on State Benefits for income.  Her father, Basil Patrick Dominic Corcoran, a gas fitter and champion boxer in his army regiment (he served in WW2) became disabled in the late 1950s, waking up one morning and finding he was paralysed from the waist down.  Eventually he re-gained some movement but his condition, which was never fully diagnosed, became more complex.  Josephine wrote this poem in his memory.



5 comments:

  1. Interesting work, like the comic tradegy wording that makes it real. Thought provoking.

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  2. You've done him proud, Josephine. Made him real, living and full of character.

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  3. You've done him proud, Josephine. Made him real, living and full of character.

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  4. Lovely, and apt in a way, since I am agoraphobic and finding it impossible at the moment to convince the Work and Pensions people that they may not be obvious to the eye but it is still a disability and keeps me from work, indeed from the life that I could have with support.

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  5. I love the second last line most of all. So adoring.

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