Poem: Dodgy Leads by Rachael Clyne

Dodgy Leads

Here is the atrium, ventricle and mitral valve
a septum to divide the giving from receiving side.
Mark how each systole, diastole pumps the flow,
how aorta spouts to root and branch, a scarlet tide
to all extremities a body can provide,
mark the gentle flow of crimson cells for fresh supply.

Mesmerised by a line of alpine troughs and peaks,
the lub-dup of my life, I seek some small anomaly
that suggests a fatal flaw, learn to pronounce
such terms as dodgy lead and troponin.
Strapped to my arbiter of fate, I gaze
at this intimate detail of my existence;

how it transports chemicals of wonder, love or hate;
how it starts and ends in a heartbeat.


This poem was first published in the Poems for a Liminal Age anthology – edited by Mandy Pannet, in aid of Medecins Sans Frontieres.


Rachael Clyne lives in Glastonbury. Her collection Singing at the Bone Tree, is published by Indigo Dreams. Anthologies: The Best of 52Book of Love and Loss, Poems for a Liminal Age. Magazines: Tears in the Fence, Lighthouse, Shearsman,  The Rialto, Under the Radar, The Interpreters House.


Our JustGiving page is open for donations to the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund – no amount is too small if you feel moved to support.

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