Treasure Island

Trevor Maynard

(11th September 1963 / Rochford, Essex)

The Fall


the carpet was a stringy grass
thick stranded and knotted and of indeterminate brown,
old

it had a straw-like odour
and dust lay thick between the blades of wool
old

it had the itchiness of fibre glass
as i lay the side of my head against it fur to fur
my eyelash lashed it like a willow in the breeze
stroking a placid river with a practiced hand finger to finger
i became so enamoured of its comfort
that i nearly forgot to blink and remind myself i was old

but not for long as this fall had indicated
perhaps my hip was broken
perhaps my knee had popped out of joint
perhaps my legs had just given out
but for ten minutes i had been lain here

i wished someone would come
and that that person who would
would wear white robes and a white smile
and that they would say
it would be alright to let go

when i was a child i lay on the carpet with my cat
licking my fur like my cat, nose to nose with my cat
young

i had yet to love and lose and love again
yet to be a man a father a grandfather a widower
young

Submitted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, October 08, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Inspired by countless stories of old people dying alone. In the UK, a recent study reported that coroners have as many as ten cases per week where old people have died alone and not been discovered for up to a week or more. This means that thousands of old people, who once had the vitality and adventure of youth, who once lived their lives much as we do now, will end their lives this way. Could this be our future?

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