Daily poem: Hugh MacDiarmid, In the children's hospital
In the children's hospital
'Does it matter? Losing your legs?' Siegfried Sassoon
Now let the legless boy show the great lady
How well he can manage his crutches.
It doesn't matter though the Sister objects,
'He's not used to them yet', when such is
The will of the Princess. Come, Tommy,
Try a few desperate steps through the ward.
Then the hand of Royalty will pat your head
And life suddenly cease to be hard.
For a couple of legs are surely no miss
When the loss leads to such an honour as this!
One knows, when one sees how jealous the rest
Of the children are, it's been all for the best! —
But would the sound of your sticks on the floor
Thundered in her skull for evermore!
by Hugh MacDiarmid