FOG – a poem by Susan Hunter Downer
On a recent visit to the Heritage Site at the Northern General Hospital, part of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, artist in residence, creative writer Susan Hunter Downer came across an intriguing folder full of collected stories from retired workers from the 1950’s onwards. This fascinating collection inspired Susan to write a poem about one the hospital’s first consultants. Read Susan’s poem below.
By Susan Hunter Downer
In memory of Frank O’Gorman (1910-1992)
Formerly associate professor of surgery at Sheffield University and senior surgeon at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, affectionately known as FOG.
Not droplets of water or crystals in air
But a man who answered to the name of Fog
And walked the Northern grounds at night
Sowing seeds of gentleness for others to reap
Not low-lying cloud or poor visibility
But surgeon, teacher, (some say porter)
Traveller, footballer, avid dog walker
Bringing greatness to this place of blades
Not the fading memory that comes with age
But modesty, humour, passion, and care
At home in scrubs, suit, trunks, and kit
Who gave his best to the most and became
who saw the earth as a second womb
where we share a placenta of connected care,
laugh when it hurts and know that, in the end,
Continuity is change and we are all pioneers.