Accusations, coldness, blame, over-working, paranoia, cancer — all seemingly going on in a doctor's house, not a great combination, especially unfortunate when the doctor himself is ill. "Someone" also seems to suffer from insomnia, or to have it in for people who can sleep well. What a world!

The gas-fire hisses; you have been asleep.

Outside, house-roofs, white with frost, are coldly clean.

Dusk brings a new white, colder still.

When I spoke, you looked serene.

Your affair had been with sleep,

Mine with haemorrhage — the tumourous till

Of illness which opens up to everyone.

What richness in a purple shade that takes

Its victim months to enter into, and to be undone?

I cannot say...too much. Even a swan hissed

When I took my habitual, lunch-time walk.

But you never missed me, you never miss my kiss,

Always mix everything because you fall asleep.


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