I lived in a white prison
White beds, white uniforms
Colourless covers, bandages
A ceaseless cheery sound bleaching us out
I was taken outside by a nurse. She had
Warm skin, dark eyes, and beauty spots
She wore a pleated cap, a scarlet cloak
We talked. She pushed me
To the shoe shop in my dressing-gown
Over pavements, up and down steps
I saw ordinary people
Not lying down. Not hurting.
My cotton-wool feet, after six months
Unconstrained, nude, forgotten
Surprised me. Two sizes bigger
Though they had not touched the ground.
She took me in a wheelchair to buy slippers
To learn to walk again
Yellow flowers on dark red velvet
Straps round the ankle
A bead button.