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Julia Darling, from Sudden Collapses in Public Places

A Comforting Car Park

After the clinic I walk the back way
through the half built wastelands of the hospital
which is riddled with pipes and diggers
and temporary walkways, and rooms ripped
from other rooms, then re-stitched to walls,
ruptured corridors, leading to rubble
and portacabins, crooked signs that point
to ear nose and throat, to amputations
and the Chapel of Rest.

I cut through a car park, into a memory
of outings with my father, to other car parks;
we were going to a tea shop, somewhere
like Petersfield, in the blue Morris Traveller.
He always took us to tea shops, to order cakes.
He didn't make us walk. He hated exercise.
We ate teacakes and jam, got back into the car,
and drove home. Sunned seats warming our legs.