Home Visit

She sits in a darkened room,
tenth decade in, life
reduced to a few old possessions.
A distant husband smiles down
from a dusty frame,
a worried daughter, not wanting
to ask the doctor questions
to answers she just doesn’t
want to hear.

A whirlwind of sound,
that only a school of children can make,
as they play for their lives
away from the endless metrics,
sweeps through the sun lit window.
There is life here, so close but
not in this room.

Here there seems only decay, head
stooped and body aching.
A heart valve slowly strangling
an aging body. Medical jargon
slowly squeezing the vitality
of a body that no longer
can itself recognise.

Eyes grey and in a hoarse whisper
she beckons me over, frozen
in youthful judgment I
hesitate, what does
one say to the living dead?

I say nothing, she speaks.
Of her failing memory, her
departed other half, but

what she does know
is a joke or two. By all
means, I croak, please.

Eyes sparkling, she cackles loud
and long. Tickled of the tale
of the 50 year married couple
‘doing it’ over an electric fence.
Shocked yet resuscitated

I awaken. There is life here,
there always has been.
It was just a matter
of zipping my instruments
back into my pencilcase

and then being brave
enough to take her by the hand
and run together back
into the playground.

(Taken from Begin Again)

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