Having written a few sonnets for this collection that are, at least in part, somewhat critical of love, a more celebratory one seemed appropriate. So this sonnet celebrates nurturing love. And the person that best represents nurturing love is… the nurse. The nurturing nurse.
If we’re lucky, during our lives of “seven ages”, we will encounter different forms of nurture: those that bring us into the world (the midwife); our early carers (the wet nurse); the paediatric nurse who patches us up; the first aider for early bumps and scrapes; the paramedic when more substantial medical assistance is needed; the people who care for us when we are frail (the care assistant) and those who are there for our final act (the hospice nurse). These nurses are sometimes metaphorical, sometimes literal. In this poem, a single, metamorphosising, metaphorical nurse accompanies us through our lives.
Love is the Nurse Love is the nurse who guides you to the light: Who feeds kind milk between your infant lips Who patches wounds when realities bite Who sets you free when you’re in Fever’s grips. Love’s expedition medic for your quest – The march from womb to tomb; Love will step in To start the heart in your deflated chest Or dress demonic scorches in thin skin. Then Love’s your care companion when Time strikes: The hands that keep you steady, like a crutch The spirit boost when fear of Midnight hikes That final, life-affirming, human touch. At times this nurse will other duties find So treasure every moment when you’re twined.