Tom's Battles

Tom's body slumps

In his allocated chair

Which, over the years,

Had cradled many a bony backside.

His the latest in the queue

Of the soon to be forgotten.


His resigned expression

Hides a mind

Energised by the memory of

Childhood battles on imaginary castle walls,

Wooden swords and shields,

Of slaying the enemy,

Saving the realm

And returning home a hero.


His energy wanes

As he recalls the

Disdain and rebuke

That met him when,

Across the hallowed meal table,

He told his parents of

His triumphant day,

A wasted lifetime ago.


It was the start, he now knows,

Of his lifelong tendency

To keep secret

His thoughts and deeds,

A trait that many would later mistake

As conceit or guile.


Too late now

To care

Or repair

Or forgive.


The clock strikes four,

Fifteen minutes to go before the

Latest cocktail of pills

That will prolong his torture,

Twenty minutes before the arrival

Of the cup of piss disguised as tea.

Such are the present-day battles of Tom,

Hero of the castle walls.

◄ The Hat

Killing the Long Game ►


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Laura Taylor

Wed 3rd Feb 2016 13:06

Love love love this. I am currently caught up in the maelstrom that is looking after an elderly dad complete with care system cock-ups, and this rings lots of bells for me.

Another wonderful story, well told.

ps - from early childhood, I basically lied to everyone about my every move, thought and action for YEARS in order to preserve a basic privacy. That also rang bells with me, though its premise is different to Tom's.

I don't always get the time to comment on poems, but when I do I will. You are one I will be keeping an eye on :)

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Patricio LG

Sat 30th Jan 2016 06:39

Once a castle now no doubt a nursing home. Lovely poem, sadness whiling away the days.

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