The monster hovers overhead,
The klaxon calls the guards away,
Scurrying to safety from its maw.
Held tethered motionless beneath its stare,
Beneath its one enormous eye,
The captive watches paralysed,
Transfixed below its ranging glare,
Listens to its fizzing breath
Echo through the cavern chamber,
Waiting, waiting, while it rears its head,
Swooping round and leering green,
Focussing to size its prey:
Branding through forever Its fearful imprimatur.
This refers to her radiotherapy treatment, which was then underway.
Sandra was always very scared of the radiotherapy or, rather, of its possible side effects. Three weeks before it started, she wrote to ATI am very fearful about the radiotherapy as I have an allergy to sunlight and generally hypersensitive skin which has got worse over the last 20 years (I burn and come out in hives - lumps and bumps - on exposure to even weak English winter sun) so it is certain sure that I will burn badly, and the area to be irradiated is very large, viz. a band swathe above and below the length of the 45 cm. mastectomy scar, from the mid-line of the chest where I used to have a cleavage to the far side of the armpit. Once the radiotherapy gets under way it will be 5 days a week for 5 weeks, and then a recovery period of some months as a standard side-effect is exhaustion (a sort of low-level radiation sickness).
The extent of her fearfulness was such that she always took a small bottle containing 5 or 6 fingers of cognac with her to each session, drinking it in the car en route to the hospital so that she would be nice and tipsy by the time we got there (needless to say, I was doing the driving).