vox poetica – A Spare Place

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A Spare Place


04.19.11 Posted in today's words by

Penny Whiteway is from England, I think. Her work has appeared on the vox poetica prompts page. This sad poem is an exercise in restraint.

A Spare Place
By Penny Whiteway

I sit in a chair and gaze
At the faces opposite me;
Our hands trembling in unison
My keepers will never see
The shame I feel as I sit in
Soiled underwear, pervading
My soul, turning hope to dust
And I shall never leave this place
Of death and despair; ’til a bag
Is zipped; they’ll cover my face
For fear I may cause offense.

Somebody said we have fish
For lunch; like a Mexican wave
Our frail excitement undulates
And we smile. No one is brave
Enough to ask “Is the fish fresh?”
Thus risking censorial frowns;
It pays not to rock the boat. 
Mrs. Baker died yesterday.
Not one person lamented this,
No feelings in disarray;
A spare place at the table.



2 Responses to “A Spare Place”

  1. This is heart wrenching. Hopefully we will all be spared.

  2. bobbie troy says:

    I can relate to this. My mother-in-law and father-in-law both died in a nursing home.

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