Monday, 25 January 2016

Gerontophobia - Marilyn Duckworth

I go to bed considering insulin
How much to flood the vein that is me
So that I may turn over in my grave
Composed, dead level?
But wake daily, measuring the panic dream, collecting
My thoughts. Am I still threaded?

The real worry is
How to know when a cup is empty
I dream, handling pink mugs, open mouths
Speechless. I can’t read it.
It makes no sense
It makes dementia.

Sitting, emptying, under a bathroom bulb
Memory flushes, surges
Veins connect
And thread again. I’m back.
The cistern filling –
This is called a wake.

Why am I so in dread of mornings?
Mother in the evening signals her empty cup.
More tea? No – ‘Switch it off!’ she commands
Then cries, confused.
How to know if a cup is on or off?
Or a life?

Marilyn Duckworth (born 1935) New Zealand

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