I have been here before so I know the way
It is down the corridor third on the right.
The door is wide open, I pause to observe
the harshness of time her face out of sight.
Who are you? the elderly woman demands
the words are aggressively spoken, terse.
Once more I’m a child being reprimanded,
needing to urinate, withered by thirst.
I sense her contempt of my scrambled style,
my comfy laced shoes, my out of date coat.
The frayed silk scarf that controls greying hair
to knot just above the pulse in my throat.
Lost your tongue silly girl, she sternly says
I blush and wonder who else will hear
The ill natured sharpness is certain to seem
like a shriek of tired brakes to anyone near.
Tears threaten to veil the bud of each eye.
Apprehension and dread form to grip my chest.
The old childhood stammer returns as I try
to reply, I have come at the nurses request.
The change is so sudden deflating her tone
I am feeling, you know..... very tired today”
Her fingers search restlessly sides of her chair,
she adds sweetly “ someone with cake can stay”.
For a while there is silence, awareness our friend
a moment to once more recall a sharp tongue
the clash of two souls of different design, of
colourless dreams, of escaping while young.
Old age has been cruel to those exquisite eyes
now flecks of fine ash in a weathered complexion.
She fingers lank hair and gazes elsewhere
as if mourning the absence of pride and affection.
I pull up a chair, take my place by her side
Who are you, she asks me, again and again.
Why mother I say don’t you recognise me,
I’m the lady with cake aren’t you glad that I came.
copyright ©Roan Dec 2008
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem