Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Dr Elsie Inglis

When eventually her grave was found
Somewhere in Edinburgh,
The headstone was covered
In green algae. This patriot
Who on volunteering
For medical service
Was told to go home
And sit still.

Now her medals are displayed
Behind spotless glass,
Mounted and framed
With polished wood;
For Elsie paid no heed
To the advice given,
But went to war instead
Saving countless lives,

Treating wounded and dying,
Comforting the bereaved,
Setting up field hospitals
And raising the necessary funds;
Captured by the Germans,
Detained only a short while
Until allowed home in 1917;
They had 'had enough'.

Crippled by fatal illness
She was carried from ship to hotel
In Newcastle, dying only
A short while later;
Dr Elsie Inglis a supporter
Of female suffrage,
Who refused to sit still
Until she'd done her duty.

© David Subacchi

The female war medic who refused to 'go home and sit still'

David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry: First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016) as well as a collection in Welsh: Eglwys Yng Nghremona (2016).