A Poem by our Writer in Residence, David Gilbert


It’s not such hard work to forgive.
We tend to think of it as freight.
But conscience, like air, is so light.

All sorts of truths, imaginary
or real, are easily put right.
Mother, you were right too,

to turn away when I was ill.
What mattered was what little
you had left to give. I knew.

But it took this long for that
knowledge to settle. It’s not
a heavy thing. But the air holds

hawks too. You couldn’t bear
watch me fall, as you had. Wings
ripped mid-flight felled us both


© 2023 David Gilbert

David Gilbert is Writer in Residence at Bethlem Gallery, author of ‘The Patient Revolution – how we can heal healthcare’ (Jessica Kingsley Press) and ‘The Rare Bird Recovery Protocol’ (poetry collection).

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