How many are there? Ten? Twelve?
One or two gaze around the room;
what do they see?
Figures, like themselves, seated, silent
with eyes that do not focus,
perhaps because the force behind them is spent,
and yearns for release.
Perhaps because they have no interest in the present
but are locked in memories,
restless only in a broken breath.
In serried rank around the sparten carpet there are feet.
Once slender ankles now rest - squat - in quilted pink,
or faded blue beside a sturdy ferrule.
How many dream of fading away?
Quilted pink can hold much pain,
hooded eyes can plead for release -
but none is given.
As custard is placed upon the table
to ensure a nourishing meal
some would rather not be nourished.
Once active hands rest on laps of crimpeline,
laps that once loved to dress in style,
but now the rule is crimpeline - grist for washing machines.
Shoulders fold sadly into drooping cardigans,
plucked absent-mindedly by nervous fingers,
engulfed in the silence.
Where is the chatter - the music?
Are they all so deep in memories.
Do they want nourishing custard or
would they rather fade into the ether
nourished by their memories alone.