The Captain and His Corridors of St. George’s Hospital – Vincent Edward Manda

The doors to the
Hidden corridors;
Far from the our redirected route
To the food halls
Spewing the smells
Of life and letting them waft
Part-ways through the hospital,
Must have been closed.

Those secret and sombre corridors
Found in the basements
Of such places
Must have been more solemn
Than when the two walked in silence
Wishing they could strike up
A conversation with the third
Whose gaped mouth could say no more.

It must have be hard
To ignore the fourth,
The Captain
Who works with them for no fee
And is always there
Even though he is never to be
Heard or seen

His presence staring
Them in the face each day
Like the darkness that follows
The blowing out of one’s last match.

The three and their companion
Had to find a new way
For their usually now empty corridors;
That are really never so,
Must have been closed
As the fourth member
Of the two man crew
Spread his silence to the
More lively corridors.

A sudden hush crept upon us all
And the hundred and one
Shouts in Italian ceased
As the children parted way
To let the two and their silhouetted
Sheet covered trolley pass
With one destination in mind
And their captain
Forever following behind.

The secret corridors
May have been closed
But the captain; never resting,
Will always finds a way.


his name rhymes with ‘mince’. He’s rarely without a notebook and can usually be found next to the closest bottle of red wine. Previously a writer for The Roehampton Lane Journal.

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