By the light of the local Spar

Eyes snapped shut in the street-facing bedroom

lit up by the light of the Spar

that floods it's white plastic windows

illuminating each passing car



In her curled up hands a faded old photo


but the hands,once so gentle,that hold this mementoe,

are as cold,are as granite, as stone


In came Sister with a meagre tea tray

barging in,past the bed,past the chair,

but Sister's time was nearly done,her shift almost won,

and the truth was,she'd long ceased to care



Pushing open the small top window,

then sweeping the curtains to one side

she adjusts the heating's thermostat,

setting it's dial to five


Then,”Tea-time”,she shouts,in a patronising voice,

time to get up! It's nearly seven!”

oh,the joys of being trapped in a modern care home

caught somewhere between hell and heaven


Don't you know that the paintwork is fading?

can't you see that the bodyclock will stop?

in those satanic,piss-filled corridors,

can't you hear them,one by one drop?



Sister turned,saw the unmoving bed,

saw the mask of death for a face

whilst the glow of the Spar,in the evening,

hung eerily over the place



Moving the tea-tray and it's catchment of pills,

onto the flat-topped trolley in the hall,

she briskly marches down carpet-worn stairs

to greet another, waiting guest,in the hall.

care homedeathillnessold agepensioners

◄ The Day Of Her Leaving

Years ►


Frances Macaulay Forde

Fri 26th Jan 2018 23:13

Thought-provoking, especially to one who's not too far away from the reality...

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Sun 1st Jan 2017 15:59

Absolutely brilliant....sums up the sometimes apathetic, indifferent staff we thankfully seldom see, but do. A little respect, consideration & empathy at the end, is all we require...Jeff...

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chris yates

Wed 3rd Feb 2016 18:49

Great poem I hope I am never waiting in the hall well written piece thought provoking need to hear more from you ( : x

Robert Mann

Sun 31st Jan 2016 20:30

Jon - nicely conceived and portrayed. Makes the limited years in front of me seem like a blessing.

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Sun 31st Jan 2016 20:27

Greg is right on this one Jon. Cleverly lyrical like the turning of yellowing pages - the use of light really illuminates the poem . A powerful image.


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Greg Freeman

Sun 31st Jan 2016 20:08

A well-observed - if chilling - update of Betjeman's 'Death In Leamington'. Wonderful title, too.

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Jim Trott

Sun 31st Jan 2016 18:37

Enjoyed reading this, Jon.

Horrible prospect, growing old in a second-rate nursing home. Makes me even more determined to enjoy life to the full !

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