POETRY: An Ode To Radiation – Georgie Hoddle

Competent kind hands are hovering over me


From Luke’s Journal Jan 2023  |  Vol.28 No.1  |  Evolving Professionals

Image by Dmitriy Gutarev, Pixabay

In response to and adapted from “Radiotherapy” by Dr Judy Fitzmaurice (2008) and published in Luke’s Journal, April 2020.

Competent kind hands are hovering over me.
Perhaps they are not aware they are holy angels,
Exercising gifts bestowed by God.
Gently, firmly, purposefully,
Until every layer, every clip and every clamp
Is positioned.
Just as it should be.

I imagine the hands belong to cathedral musicians,
Dedicated to acts of service in the name of healing.
It is pleasant listening to the incantations in cryptic code.
Once “98” is uttered,
Then a final adjustment,
A pull and finally, a pat,
And we are ready.

Then the musical whirl, the shrill buzz
And the screech of the overhead device
That emanates electrons
Classical music drowns this cacophony out,
Unless my angels heed a shout – “VOLUME, please.”

Alas, I cannot speak or sing,
The alien green mask presses deep.
Clamped tight to the bolts
That ensure what they treat
Is only the cancer.
Skin deep.

So, like a sheep,
I return each day
To be offered up on the sacrificial altar.
This is the way.
It leads me to pray.

Image by the author

Georgie Hoddle RN
Georgie Hoddle RN, a recently retired Registered Nurse, strives to work in Christ-centred initiatives. She regularly writes for Luke’s Journal and the Nurses Christian Fellowship Australia’s publication, Faith in Practice.


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  1. Fitzmaurice J. Poet’s Corner. Radiotherapy. CMDFA Luke’s Journal 2020; 25(2). Accessed online: https://lukesjournalcmdfa.com/2020/05/20/poets-corner-radiotherapy-dr-judy-fitzmaurice/.