to a lifeboatman

yellow arm stretched out to grip
nerveless hands, we’ve got you mate
coming in three two one, flung in
like grey-skinned fish, slapped on deck
in a heap, head crowned with salt, lungs
blowing like bellows, eyes blurred wet
                       this is how I long to be saved

so tell me you are coming, will haul
me in, preserve my soul from other forms
of peril not at sea, from stinging loss
hunger, aches, breathlessness
coughing, fever, cytokine storms 
give me a sailor’s hand to hold 
                       do not let me drown on land

Lesley Curwen

If you have any comments on this poem,  Lesley Curwen would be pleased to hear from you.