I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

24 April 2014

Meeting in Coles

Her chair looks heavy and solid,
though it glides quietly
through the Pension Day crowds.
"Does this make life easier?" I ask.

"Yes, and quicker. 
If I walk, even with the trolley,
it can take hours.
Anyway, how are you?"

"Not too bad," I say,
"All things considered."
She laughs and splutters. "Yes, 
that about says it here, too."

A sweep of her arm takes in
the chair and the pile of shopping.
She's trying to help her husband
load it on the checkout tray. 

The store radio doesn't just hum, 
it roars. Trolleys around us clatter.
A child squeals incessantly.
The fluorescents glare.

"Take that kid home," 
she says sotto voce, and to me,
"Don't you think that radio noise
is much too loud? I keep telling them."

The one trouble with the chair, 
she confides, is it won't fit in the car.
"We have to take the maxi taxi, and
they won't park outside our house.

"Poor old Patrick has to take 
all the shopping across the road
and then up our front steps." How old 
is Patrick now, I wonder. I don't enquire.

"Are you online?” I ask. "Think about
Coles' delivery service. I used to use it
when Andrew was alive." My mind goes back
to hauling his walker in and out of the car.

"I will!" she promises, and I don't add,
"Then you'll be that little bit more
house-bound." I know, and she knows,
there are no easy choices.

April Poem A Day Challenge 2014, day 23: a location poem.

Linking also to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #204


  1. Another one of your wonderful people portraits, and the issues that matter to us as we age.

    1. Thank you. Somewhat topical too, given our Govt attitude to age and disability pensioners!

  2. A wonderful write Rosemary. Thank you.

  3. Oh this is a wonderful capture - so many ponderables......the getting out as opposed to staying in, which is so much less tiring........I am still reasonably mobile, but already I prefer days when I dont have to go anywhere..........

  4. Lovely poem. So true that there are no easy choices.

  5. ugh. its hard....def dont want to love the freedom, but then it is such a hassle at times...its a shame we dont have better options...and the feeling of being between these decisions can not be a good place....

  6. Poignant, realistic, well-penned. There definitely are no easy choices.

  7. Excellent! The setting, conversation, logic and emotion all come through these deceptively simple verses!

  8. Such an insightful rendition about a little spoken process. I often worry that I shouldn't be building a 2 story house because by the time I finish it I'll probably be of an age where climbing stairs is becoming difficult and I'll just have to move. But I'm building it anyway . . .

    1. Oh yes, build it anyway! I think we need to be where we are, at whatever stage. :)

  9. I am a quasi-hermit, partially because I prefer it, but also because of how difficult it has become to move around with any comfort. Your poem spoke to me, deeply,


  10. A vignette so full of insight and compassion.
    And I can identify with so much of it: the incompatibility of modern 'convenience' with humanity. Progress takes the heart and soul out of life. Going to the village cornershop used to be a small uplifting jewel in the day. "Shall I pop that over to your house later?" I can still hear the local shopkeeper say that to an elderly customer. Now it is 'fend for yourself' and 'get out of my way'.
    And the noise levels! I wear earplugs when I have to go shopping. What they call music these days makes your hair curl.