Friday poem: 'Driving to the Hospital' by Kate Clanchy

15 August 2014

I love the tenderness of this poem; the city 'nursing its quiet'. The poem dips back into the past, describing moments weighted with hope and possibility. Time overlaps itself and the present becomes translucent for a moment, allowing a memory from the past to show through.

Thanks,
Sarah, Picador poetry editor

Driving to the Hospital

We were low on petrol
so I said let's freewheel
when we get to the hill.
It was dawn and the city
was nursing its quiet
and I liked the idea
of arriving with barely
a crunch on the gravel.
You smiled kindly and
eased the clutch gently
and backed us out of
the driveway and patted
my knee with exactly
the gesture you used
when we were courting,
remember, on the way
to your brother's: I like
driving with my baby
,
that's what you said. And
at the time I wondered
why my heart leapt and leapt.

Selected Poems

Selected Poems

 'Driving to the Hospital' was first published in Newborn by Kate Clanchy. It is also in her Selected Poems, out now.

Read extract  

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