Monday 13 June 2011
Old Man in Minehead (a longer response)
You know inside he is in his twenties.
He flirts in the café fantasising
his upright posture and bright eyes, laughing.
The material’s heavy against his thinning skin.
He’s determined to walk but tears are near, it is such a struggle.
Edna’s gone. Her letters stopped.
One day he won’t wake up. Or will it be the hospital bed?
Loved ones are only in his memory now,
peopling his life like ghosts, waiting to take him.
It was those slices of thin beef in thick gravy and
mashed potatoes, easy on the teeth and pie and custard,
followed by a cup of dark tea.
Sometimes confusion reigns and objects disappear.
Time of day is elusive – even the boundaries of day and night.
One of them and he’ll just slide away and
his trousers will be back to Oxfam and
a hymn will sing him through the curtains.
© Valerie Taylor
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