Poems in the waiting room

This isn’t really about patient pathways, or co-production, or reducing variation, or personalising care. It is something that occasionally lends me great joy, and I wish to share it. We have had poems in our waiting room for over ten years. To begin with, we had a bit of a push back. Many of the poems were on weighty issues, life and death, pain and survival, and I think they had been chosen to help share the troubled paths that some of our patients follow.

Now, PitWR has regular issues, often around seasonal themes. They share poems of great sweetness. There seems to be no agenda other than to make sitting in the waiting room a more enlightened and lovely experience. They’ve been chosen to promote well-being and a sense of calm. I suppose just that, in its own way, produces better consultations.

VIEW FROM THE HILL by Fiona Larkin

I could convince myself 
we drew the river's curve
right there, and wound
it across the water meadow
with a flourish of buttercups,
just for the pleasure
of clothing our story
in cow parsley and hawthorn,
and of letting May's green energy
propel us further upstream,
beyond the tidal surge,
past a trio of fruit trees
flawlessly blooming;
and I could be persuaded
that its braided promise
flowed from honeyed limestone
where two tributaries met.

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Dr Kate

I am a GP in Benbecula, with interests in patient safety, human factors, and data.

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