For Kay Newly Transfered to a Nursing Home
I lie awake and hear the shifts
Alter as I dream and drift
Mixing wish with long nightmares,
Cursing as I'm made aware
Of the meaning of a gesture,
A look that meant a new in vesture
I did not see so long ago,
I did not answer, I did not know;
I hear them stacking garbage pails,
In the dim light weak and pale,
Someone says, 'Go back to bed, '
Someone says, 'I think she's dead; '
Someone died within the night,
They rush the body out of sight;
Not wishing to spread alarm,
On Old McDonald's Death's Door Farm;
I hear them rattle pots and pans,
Someone says, 'Don't give a damn.'
Someone checks my cage and stall,
'Oh, so you're alive after all.'
Remember you must get up and walk
Freedom depends on more than talk.
David McLansky's Other Poems
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