People don’t see through this mist
Into this land of shadows that masks my pain
Yes I hide this pain
I probably don’t have to
People ignore an old man and his sadness
I become just another of life’s inconveniences…
She left a while ago
Another woman. Long hours, family to feed.
Just another job to her
She will never know she helped this dying hand.
I care as little as she and the others do.
Oh yes I had friends.
Many black and white moons ago
And sometimes I wondered what was the worst failing
Or losing interest?
Because friends do both
They become strangers
They gain legend albeit posthumously
They betray me by dying it seems
I have to allow a bitter laugh as I gaze out of the window
To manicured grass. Flowerbeds.
Bloody roses. Always bloody roses…
In this so called ‘home’ where I have been placed
Out of sight and out of uncharitable mind.
In these twilight days of greyness
Another smile as I think of her.
She hurries to complete her minimum pay duties
Never noticing the pills I pocket each day…
They never know. They never care.
I had life once but now I am just a burden
Sitting alone in this wheeled chair
Weak, Incontinent, Inconvenient.
Please don’t forget.
These legs once were as strong as yours
My mind as sharp.
My loving as passionate.
And you will be here one day
Maybe in this same wheelchair
….gazing at the same bloody roses
Long after my body lies rotting
My memory a fading ghost. Ha
Those who knew me?
They died long ago.
Evening mist rolls in
Soft grey tendrils, smoke like
They creep in slowly across the manicured lawns
And I shiver involuntarily
My life is so like that fog
People see it and shut it out
Cold, unwelcoming, forget it
It will be gone
No more in the sunshine of a new day
Lost like an old fools life.
The outside lights flare orange outside my window
Ghostly, fluorescent in the night’s clammy grasp.
I think of her one last time
Many years ago I would have desired her
Young, foreign and shapely beneath her uniform
I imagine the feel of her soft body
Ample breasts cupped in my eager hands
That feeling as my seed fills her.
But no more
Her only use to me now has been fulfilled.
I gratefully release the pills
Hidden in the back of my old radio
She never even noticed. I palmed them
It is hard but I shut off my light before pushing
The little strength left in my arms?
Well it gets my old body closer to my window.
My photograph of you?
Yes it is in my lap.
Fading in it’s frame
But still your smile radiates from it. From years ago
And all I want is to be with you
Wherever you are…
Tears? Are they of sadness?
I persuade myself that they are of happiness
As I join you.
I wish nothing else.
Night sounds. Toilets flush. Radiators gurgle
Coughing. The faint sound of a nearby room’s television.
The fog outside is thick now
I imagine faces from the past morphing from it’s chill formlessness
All in my room is lit with an ethereal orange glow
In it’s unnatural glare I lift your photograph to my dry lips
A soft kiss my darling.
I stretch out bony fingers to grasp the whisky and soda
One sip. One tablet.
And the others follow.
Slowly sounds fade.
The fog outside? No longer cold.
It’s grey fingers reach out for me.
For us. Welcoming
You join me as all becomes so quiet.
As hands release me from this chair’s metal grasp
The shackles of pain drop from weak arms.
And with you.
I am me again.
Next day. She answers questions?
Too intense for one on such low pay.
But soon they are over.
She is left to clear the room.
And briefly as she bends down to mop up spilt whisky
A light draft moves her hair
She picks up a photo in an old silver frame
A humdrum life for one moment stops
As she admires the old print.
A beautiful lady smiles back.
Beside her man.
© 2011 Stan Rogers. All rights reserved.