Birthday Wishes


Will the NHS be there for you?
It always was for me
(though my Mum took care of minor things,
Headaches or scraped-up knees).

They brought you, blue and grumpy,
To your mother’s welcome breast
And gave you shots against tetanus,
Meningitis and the rest

They’ve saved my life, they saved yours too,
(Though you would hardly know it)
Without a thought of gratitude
(And we hardly ever show it).

Through every problem that we have,
And believe me there are masses,
We’ve had appointments, pills, injections
And chunky plastic glasses.

And not just small things, minor knocks,
But things that take us down –
Then we thank our stars for surgeons
In mask and gloves and gown.

It stops my heart to think that you
In future may not know
Unselfish, automatic care
Passed down from long ago.

Will the NHS reach one hundred?
Can it pass a century?
Will it be there all your life
As it’s always been for me?

Or will it be broken up for food
Of hungry corporate giants?
What relationship with it will you have –
Are you patient or are you client?

Fight for this one, I’ll fight too,
As every ward is shut.
The NHS has raised us all
So we can tend its cuts.

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