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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Conversation Within Four White Walls

I wrote this poem after the death of my grandmother, at the age of 93, in a nursing home.  I still miss her.

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Here, I brought you some good soup today

       Please Marguerite I want to go home
             Take me home

Just try to eat a little of it; you need to eat well if you’re going to get better

       Oh Marguerite bring me home
             I hate it here
                   Take me home

Bertie are you all right
You don’t look well

       I’d be well if
             I could leave this place
                   Take me home

I’m calling the nurse
Your face... too pale

       I hate this place
             Hate it hate
                   The four white walls that smell of antiseptic
                         It’s so cold so cold
                             Take me home

Nurse... help... help me...
Help us... get a doctor

                   If I were home I’d be sitting
             By the lake in the sunshine
       We could watch the herons and geese and talk as we used to,
Not like here where the words slither and mumble from
My dying tongue, numbed so it might not express
The pain, and fall on your ears numbed so that you are shielded from hearing it
We could walk down by the edge where the reeds grow in the shallows
Even dive into the cool depths, in the water where all are children and equals
And things be as they were, not like this no never
And we would never have to cage our goodbye inside four white walls

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