Tim Goldstone

Tim Goldstone
has roamed widely including throughout the UK, Western and Eastern Europe, and North Africa, before settling deep in rural Wales. His poems and stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The New Welsh Review, Stand Magazine, The Offing, Anti-Heroin Chic, Red Poets, Doghouse, Ghost City Review, Déraciné, The Mechanics’ Institute Review Anthology 15; and is forthcoming in Flash – The International Short-Short Story Magazine, among others. Prose sequence read on stage at The Hay Festival. His writing has also appeared on BBC, Waterstones, and Sherman Cymru Theatre websites. Scripts broadcast on TV and radio. Loiters in Twitter @muddygold


In the still-dark morning
binmen found her amongst
the pecked and pulled at bin-bags,
curled into a ball against the cold and rain,
cheeks aching from tears
that all her life she’d learnt to dam.

Nurse, as skilled and experienced and steady
in the operation of caring
as a brilliant battlefield surgeon,
makes with extraordinary precision,
using only sleep’s highly unstable anaesthetic
(no sedation can be risked before tests)
the first delicate incision –
a gentle stroking of the forehead,
where, with breathtaking daring
she starts to release,
imperceptible as the growth of new ferns,
the young, tightly clenched fists.

Now Nurse knows only too well
the grueling march to come
to reach the stockpiled horrors
dumped deep in the dark;
knows only too well
what needs to be released –
and until that time comes
Nurse will lower her own eyelids,
let her own tears roll down and down –
as once again
her indefatigable banners of kindness
unfurl – readying themselves
for that first dangerous incursion
into a runaway’s darkness.


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