Care home cares

A poem in memory of my grandmother Mary (Muriel) Peacock.
I hope that all you believe has come true.
You deserve it.


The swell of dread arises miles before,
Minutes tick away in jolts of angst.
Regret, guilt, and apprehension,
All throng to the beat of a wheel on tarmac.
A visit of duty, a duty of care.
Is the duty mine and do I
Care enough? The look of pleasure and
Appreciation is too much to bear, too grateful.

Those eyes whose confusion melts
Into a loving glow stoked from years
Lost in quiet and familiar unconditionality
Express too much too freely.
Hands worn smooth by aged cold-creams
Compelled by hiccoughs of the brain to rest withered on the pane
Grip with a strength of eloquence. A war-time
Wedding ring presses the words, I knew you’d come.

But I didn’t
Want to and I didn’t come
Often enough and now
The selfish love chokes my own tongue and I can’t
Repay that gentle trust with more than banalities.
A one-sided conversation of cats
Weathers quickly and lunch-time trivia shave but seconds from
A life too long-lived and is it too soon to flee, is my duty done?

Yours is. Now. And so well met.
And my final task, my final journey is to
A different place of rest.
But my chideful companions ride with me still, and more,
As we compete in shrill voice to mime
A goodbye that was born years ago by
Ruptured vessels in your brain and buried
Today to the stuttering tattoo of my heart.