Waiting for the doctor
written by David C Johnson copyright 2013

We are waiting for the doctor
To verify what we know.
The hours seem long.
The duty medic is working through
His list of night-time calls,
Giving preference to the living,
Before he checks the dead.
It is 10.30 , in the evening,
Before I make the call
For Mr. Gayton to undertake
The collection of Dad's body.
This is done discreetly
Down the stairs' broad flights.
Whilst Mum and I sit silently,
In the dim lit sitting room,
Not wanting to see or hear
The deed that must be done.
(My mother still remembers
Her mother's rude removal,
In a plastic body bag
Slung over someone's shoulder.)
Mr. Gayton is broad Devon,
Like his dad before.
He asks me sotto voce
For my father's teeth.
I get them from the plastic mug
On the bathroom shelf
And wrap them in white tissue.
He slips them in his jacket pocket.
The teeth, the corpse and Gayton
Drive off into the night.
The unmarked silver van