Poem: Danse Medicinale by Pat Edwards

Danse Medicinale

Smoothly vibrating,
the polishing machine glides across the floor,
flirting briefly with the nurse’s trolley.
They exchange bleeps –
electric pulses set their upright handles spinning.
Joining these daily encounters are
commodes, drug cabinets and hoists,
who all wheel and dance a macabre tango.

But, quietly beautiful amongst them all,
reigns on high the elderly couple,
whose love wins the glitter ball.
Sparkling like a guiding beacon,
they tenderly embrace and he holds the key
to every step, every ballroom romance.
He tranquilises and medicates her
with his soft hand resting in the
small of her frail, crumbling back.
They are supreme champions,
bound by lace and sequins, powder and net –
intravenous love.


Pat Edwards is a writer, teacher and performer living in Mid Wales. Her work has appeared in, among others, Prole, Picaroon, The Curlew, Ink Sweat and Tears and Deborah Alma’s #MeToo Anthology. Pat runs Verbatim poetry open mic nights and curates Welshpool Poetry Festival.


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