When on a June day I was struck
by a pancreas going to pieces
the hospital walls became grey paper
the nurses scurrying ashes
and the air crematorium smoke.
But it framed a miracle:
In my hour of greatest need I saw –
what seemed to be a rowing boat
that was slowly lowered into the room.
It smelt strongly of pitch.
And wanted to take me on board
to be rowed past sleeping waters
to the place where the pike are waiting.