“They Come To Rest At Any Kerb: / All Streets In Time Are Visited”

Michael Williams
3 min readOct 13, 2023
Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash

“Closed like confessionals, they thread

Loud noons of cities, giving back

None of the glances they absorb.

Light glossy grey, arms on a plaque,

They come to rest at any kerb:

All streets in time are visited.”

Philip Larkin, “Ambulances”

Twice in the last couple of weeks, an ambulance has visited our street. The first visit took away our neighbour. She had breathing issues. She was in the hospital for a week. We heard she was getting better; then came the news that she had died.

Last night, the ambulance came again. Three doors down. Middle of the night. Their front lawn lit up like a football pitch. We don’t know the score of that encounter.

This morning, when I opened the front door, my brother joked, asking if there was an ambulance waiting outside. No, I replied, not yet. Philip Larkin’s lines echo in my head: “They come to rest at any kerb: / All streets in time are visited.”

And, later that afternoon, as I’m writing this, my brother’s mother-in-law, who at 92 has been struggling to hold onto life in hospital ever since she too was taken to hospital in an ambulance, has made the decision to have a…



Michael Williams

I’m a storyteller, StoryCoach, writer, accredited End-of-Life Planning Facilitator, spiritual mentor & podcast host. Oh yeah, I play ukulele.