Where drugs have failed and sepsis seeps,
and rank dank odours congregate,
this black necrotic tissue sleeps
as saline soaked cells re-hydrate.

As lunch is served on rancid plate
the starving larvae swoop to feast,
their endless appetite to sate
upon the failing flesh deceased.

As healing fibroblasts released,
slow-growing healing chrondocytes,
no need for doctor, surgeon, priest
no place for sacramental rites.

How blessed with healers, life festooned,
as friends debride our festered wounds.

~ This piece is dedicated to my friend Joanne Morris. She is a senior podiatrist who has specialised in diabetes and wound healing. (She’s a choreographer in her spare time, a fellow tiny pirate and also happens to make a stonkingly good gin and tonic).

In her professional life, in extreme cases, she uses maggot therapy in wound healing. She saves limbs and lives on a regularly basis. As my closest friend she has tended to my emotional wounds and has saved my sanity on many occasions. Whilst a poem about maggots might not seem like a very fitting tribute to a friend, it makes a tiny attempt to show my admiration for the work that she does and offers my heartfelt thanks for being a kind and loyal friend.

~ This utilises the rhyme scheme of a Spenserian Sonnet – abab bcbc cdcd ee – but is written in iambic tetrameter as oppose to iambic pentameter.



Filed under Spenserian Sonnet

4 responses to “Maggot

  1. Like most, I think the idea of maggots in a wound is creepy. But years ago, after a “simple bandaid” procedure, I almost died of an antibiotic-resistant MERSA infection. After three weeks in the hospital, a surgeon had to cut it out. I’ve thought many times that medical maggots could have short work of it.

    Good for your friend for doing what it takes, and good for you for writing such an effective poem about it.

  2. Never has there been such a lyrical ode to maggots … a perfect alm to a strangely fitting balm. Paracelsus believed that like cured like — cauterizing fire to heal the burn of wounds, spirituality to cure addiction to spirits, etc. Also, it isn’t learning that’s required for healing, as knowledge of the insides of things. From the gut, not the brain. Finely filigreed silverwork here – B

    • Thanks Brendan, this one has been galloping around the periphery of my consciousness for a while. Been trying to lasso it and bring it into the corral.

      I agree about healing coming from the gut not the brain. Medical practitioners, particularly in this field, may use their scientific knowledge to diagnose and decide on a course of treatment but ‘treating’ and ‘healing’ are quite different.

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