A Poem by our Writer in Residence, David Gilbert

Losing His Ring

On the last day of a terrible year
when everyone was moving out,
I lost the ring he’d made for me.
I’d last seen it on the way up

in the second lift from the right
as you face them, and I’d almost
been showing it off, by curling
my fingers round the trolley handle.

Who were those others? Did one
of them stoop to pick it up
after it had slipped from my thinned
fingers? As if it was saying goodbye

like Dumbo’s feather perhaps.
But over this terrible year
I haven’t believed in any of all that.
I went back and back to look for it,

trailed the third floor of the car park
along the bright blue zig zags,
in the bins, the guttering, the gap
between the lift door and the bleak

exterior. I bent under the car
that was now in the space my car
had been, and must have looked
like a criminal, or at least suspicious.

They say that what you you love
is what’s missing from your life.
I logged it in lost property –
I tried to describe it, but ended up

drawing it on my parking ticket –
encrusted coloured glass sandwiched
between two thin bands of white gold.
But they haven’t called me yet.

© 2024 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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