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Three lives: a poem

I trace a finger 

antonio munno3x2

antonio munno 3×2 SUO

Two cases, my patients.

Circle two people,


He, elbows on my desk

Head cradled in his hands

Remembering her –

Dead – cradled in his arms.

Four months before: breast cancer.

She remained unknown to me;

After her death he moved

Back home, to grieve.


When we met that first time

Three weeks ago

He rubbed his palm across his chest

And tugged

To show me where the food got stuck.

He hadn’t time while she was ill

To think about his health,

He said.

And so today

Our silences, our gaps,


The retelling of his story:

Endoscopy, biopsy, result, review.

Choked with grief, choked with cancer

Head cradled in his hands




I trace a finger

Circle two people.

Two lives overlapping

With a third

Their GP.

Dr Antonio Munno is a GP in Kempston, Bedford.