Listening To The Elderly At The Retirement Home, Ealing

Nurses wheel in medication
and water, picks to hack
away at the glaciers slowly
melting inside their chests.

You can see the tip of each
one pressing against the old
ribcages, a centurion’s plume
making one last stand. The

ones that have gone mad
are lucky in their quilt-walled
cells. Nobody will see them
writhe when the ice plunges

in its last seconds, rupturing
the tools of their madness.
We are lucky, a singing man
tells us, ours are just growing.

Just growing. I press my hands
against the radiator before
closing time, eager to hear
the first drop fall.

Listening To The Elderly At The Retirement Home, Ealing

Christian Ward

Joined November 2007

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