Old folks' homes

For me, I confess,
old folks’ homes are
always unpleasant.

Irrespective of flowers, knick knacks,
crocheted tea cosies, doilies –
they are always unpleasant.

I most dislike the staunchness
of the fluorescent lights, the
glare making me pallid, wan.

The too-hot temperature
bursting a clammy flush
onto my cheeks, I feel ridiculous.

Walking past rooms,
it feels akin to visiting
an abandoned aquarium.

There are clumsy touches,
like the family photographs.
These are how our neglected
elders contend I am not alone.

But the façade crumbles
for those without visitors,
for those who only receive
a staff card on birthdays.

I always thought I wanted
a big, plasma TV. Not anymore.
It reminds me too much of Grandma
there. Not in her actual home.

Where the flat screens glared,
yelling louder than bikies at a bar,
each room broadcasting the
same mindless soap opera.

The audience drools, gapes,
dozes, gasps for breath.
Yet nothing like the breathless
gorgeous girls from daytime soaps.

More like the fish of
an abandoned aquarium.
Our withered elders, wasted,
atrophied and shrunken.

Although outsiders and
visitors stand in the light, and
know that outside there is
hope; a whole other world.

In the old folks’ home,
besides the too-loud TVs,
and the constant temperature,
there is only the ugliness of truth.

I don’t want to die alone.

Old folks' homes


Joined March 2009

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 8

Artist's Description

The last time I walked into “an old folks home” was 2009. Have things improved, changed for the better? Even in 2012 I sadly doubt it. In terms of my feminist impulses, this still angers me greatly.

Artwork Comments

  • msdebbie
  • autumnwind
  • msdebbie
  • Lisa  Jewell
  • msdebbie
  • Lissie EJ
  • msdebbie
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