MAG Poetry Competition 2010 – Shortlisted Poem
She wasn’t stupid.
She sat and wavered to the clock’s tick, the tap’s drip,
The second hand sticking at ten,
Slowing the ending down.
She shunted to the edge of the bed and grasped the felt blanket,
Knuckles blue with tired blood.
Heaving forward, she shuffled to the zimmer
And set off in her nightie,
Slippers racing wheels down the polished corridor
As room numbers began the count-down.
She passed the toilet with its disinfectant smell,
The kitchen with its meals in glasses,
The store cupboard with its creams and pads.
She passed the television room, as behind pink flickers
Steve McQueen struggled in the barbed wire,
Desperate for Switzerland.
The old man slumped in the corner
Raised his head like a giant turtle,
Exchanging a glance as
Sheepskin-coated feet arrived at the door.
She reached up, fingers shaking,
The wrinkles in her forehead growing deeper
And then the door eased open.
Out into the snow, the blanket curled around her.
She fell, red on white,
And when they found her,
She was smiling.