A whitewashed waiting room. Metal chairs.
The humming violence of a striplight.
The worst is when your name is called.
No, the worst is when they tell you why you’re here.
Tack-tack went the noise in the darkness,
which I thought was my heart on the mattress
or the clock down below in the kitchen
not the carpenter knocking nails in my coffin.
Blake Morrison is a poet, novelist and the author of two bestselling memoirs, And When Did You Last See Your Father? and Things My Mother Never Told Me. He edited The Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry with Andrew Motion, and has published several collections of his own, including The Ballad of the Yorkshire Ripper, A Discoverie of Witches and, most recently, Shingle Street, 2015. He is Professor of Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths University, London.