Stoke Mandeville Hospital nurse reaches final five of national poetry competition

Debbie Lawson
Debbie Lawson

A nurse at Stoke Mandeville Hospital has reached the final five of a national poetry competition.

Debbie Lawson, who works within the hospital’s accident and emergency department penned a poem entitled ‘One For The Team’ and has now reached the final of ‘A Poem to Remember.’

The new national poetry competition is being held to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Debbie, 63, who lives in Aylesbury said: “I’ve always been a big fan of poetry but I’ve not written any before this.

“My husband served in the Royal Air Force for 42 years and my son-in-law has served in Afghanistan a few times.

“The poem is based on a true story from someone I knew but it actually contains a collection of stories that I’ve heard over time.”

Debbie said she had been overwhelmed by the response to the poem.

She said: “If the poem makes one person more aware of what the Army do it is worth it.”

A fellow member of hospital staff said: “There are some wonderful entries but I feel unashamedly biased towards Debbie’s poem which I think is really very poignant without being overly sentimental.”

To vote visit or text Poem3 to 81400.

Voting closes on Saturday June 9.

One For The Team by Debbie Lawson

‘I keep seeing you mate, intact and laughing, holding up your baby to make us smile.

‘I keep hearing you mate, joking, urging, ‘come on lads keep together, don’t step on the cracks it brings bad luck’.

‘Keep it tight boys, we’ll be home by the footy season’.

‘We carried you home, silent and broken, you really took one for the team that day.

‘Your dad stood with pride head high, don’t cry, don’t cry.

‘Lucy took the flag, a token for the broken.

‘The baby will have it one day.

‘They’ll go to the wall to see your name, a game, ‘let’s find daddy’s name’

‘But I keep seeing you mate, my shrink says you’re not there, that makes us laugh doesn’t it?

‘What do they know?’