Old

You were 83,
And immediately I
Asked you about the war,
As if you were
An historical relic.
And I had visions of
Women painting
Stocking seams on legs,
And cans of Spam,
And dating an
American man.
But you were only
A kid.

You said you were lonely,
And you only
Came out to be
Amongst people,
And I realised
You were a church
Without a steeple,
As you pray
For souls,
For your empty days
To be made whole,
By the passers by,
And bus stop dwellers,
And anyone who
Has a pulse.

To be thanked for
Loosening my tongue,
And sitting a while
In a dual of ‘am’
And ‘was’ and ‘maybe one day’,
Sort of makes you
Feel bad;
This old lady, sad,
And happy,
Ricocheting fragments
Of a lonely life
Onto a mirror of
Empathy.
Beaming for the camera
That captures
Brave smiles,
And then putting away
Her lips,
As she doesn’t need them
When she gets home
To herself.

©️ Sarah Drury 2021