Nursing Home and Nice Roses

The Iceberg roses are beautiful this year.

My mother had a hedge of them in her garden: a mass of white billowy pompoms. I’ve got more than I probably should have in a tiny garden and the delphiniums have taken the brash hump and pushed their way through.

We took a huge bunch of roses to put in my great aunt’s room when she moved into the…

Nursing Home

 

We put her there when we couldn’t cope,

when she’d tired you to bone.

Not meaning to.

 

Three years she stayed with us,

snug in that arm chair where she could see you in the garden

and wave,

her hands arthritic gnarled, veins creeping proud violet.

She had her things:

silver hair brush, remote control, Woman’s Own, a box of toffee and

I sat and brushed her hair sometimes and brought her tea.

You heaved her unable body and cleaned her and smoothed on the cream that stopped

the red sores, acid-burned into her skin.

 

We should have cried at the hallucinations,

the loose-lipped rabid talking without pause,

but she spoke of your childhood:

shoo-ing the geese from the yard, high pitched,

talking gently to the cows

broom in hand, arms outstretched

asking me to close the gate behind them.

 

We didn’t like sending her away.

Even just for a weekend to your sister

so that you could

just breathe

and sit.

 

You paced in her empty room and nettled your conscience

and burned cigarette ends into your guilt.

 

But your colour came back

and your eyes widened to clearness.

 

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under gardens, oddbods, poems, poetry, writing

One response to “Nursing Home and Nice Roses

  1. goosebumps…so much love and truth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s