Issue Five:
The Pulmonary Embolism

By Marija Smits

One day my father goes to the shops.
Walking back his lungs collapse, his legs give way,
he falls and thud! My world stops.

His heart rate soars (before it drops),
clouds roll in, the sky turns grey:
the day my father goes to the shops.

A passing neighbour, sees and stops,
he asks my dad if he’s okay.
“I fell,” he says. My world stops.

An ambulance comes, one more of the props
in this tragic, real life play;
performed the day my father goes to the shops.

The kindly paramedic mops
my father’s brow. She knows she cannot say,
“It’s just a fall.” My world stops.

Now Death arrives to reap his crops,
and they all know today’s the day,
the day he’ll die, beside these shops;
he falls and thud! My world stops.


About the Contributor

Marija Smits is the pen name of Dr Teika Bellamy, a UK-based mother-of- two, ex-
scientist and editor whose art and writing has appeared in various publications,
including Mslexia, Brittle Star, The Poetry Shed and JUNO. When she’s not busy
with her children or running the indie press, Mother’s Milk Books, she likes to
draw, paint and, of course, write. She is continually delighted by the fact that
Teika means ‘fairy tale story’ in Latvian.


Losslit canon

Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

Many kinds of loss appear in Never Let Me Go - an incredibly powerful book about what it means to be human and to truly love another person. There is the loss of family, the loss of childhood, the loss of free will, even, as it slowly becomes clear that a terrible fate awaits the innocent protagonists. Furthermore, the book begs the question of the reader: what does humanity lose when it sets out to save its own kind from illness and death.

See all entries in the Losslit canon


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