a poem by Sally Denshire published in 2019
in fourW thirty NEW WRITING Pearl
Walking frames line the coffee shop
at this nursing home above the Bay.
On the menu, fricassee chicken or else lamb and prune
then a nurse draws the blinds for a siesta in my room.
Both clever daughters were visiting today,
of course we played Scrabble with my score the top.
“Please ensure visitors leave the building alone…”
Well, at age ninety-three, I have no more to roam.
My surviving son he shepherds me
round the mangroved shore,
the saplings poking up from khaki depths.
Out of the blue, we spot the tree fungi that
Harry used to call “snakes’ bread”,
proudly showing their orange-frilled necks.
And the tide overflowing the saltmarsh
churns up mud that could harbour wrecks.
We polish off emails, daughters as scribe,
kids help with my breathing exercise.
“Listen, Loma, listen,” Mother used to say,
“listen to the rain-bird” and now here she is today,
calling from the She-oaks, “Come away, come away”.
Sparkling water at happy hour,
the ring of glasses on a tray,
our family perched together,
high above beds of seagrass in the Bay.
Note: Photo above shows ‘the saplings poking up from khaki depths’.