Poem by Andy Dean

Into the Wood

3.15 Relaxation. A new class. It makes us anxious.
She places a white orchid on the padded table.
There is a torn label on the plastic pot saying REDUCED.
Something for you to contemplate. Nature is so healing.
She laughs a bit. Looks around the relaxation room.
So standing first. Swing arms. Wriggle eyebrows. Pat ears.
A zipped anorak fur lined hat sides strapped under chin stands statue
Still. A woman with tattooed arms bare against the cold twitches and murmurs.
A man winces with deliberate movements. The clock says 2.30.
And sit. In hospital chairs and anchor. Eyes closed and breathe in.
Out. Smell of bandage in the relaxation room. She begins.
Picture a forest. You are sitting under a beautiful tree.
The broken basin in the corner. Paper towel dispenser. Fire safety
notice. Window too high for views safety catch closed.
Eyes tight. Picture a forest. You are sitting under a beautiful.
We stop. Anorak is still standing. Twitch. Orchids need light.
Picture a forest. You are sitting. CD clicks and music jolts on.
Sirens call. You are peaceful and calm. Wince. Twitch.
Feel the moss beneath your bare feet. Sun on your arms.
When an orchid flower dies the stem must be cut away.
To ensure new growth. You have no worries. The door jerks.
Half-closed eyes. Anorak has gone. Orchid under arm.
You have left your concerns behind. You have all the time in the world.
A man in pain shifts in his hard chair. Tattoos twitch.
I am in a forest. Sitting under a tree. With all the time in the world.

Into the Wood by Andy Dean was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (February 2018) judged by Mandy Pannett.

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