Going Home

“Mrs Jones, Where are you going ?”
Why do they always say that ?

Cleaners with buckets and mops
women in white uniforms
call out as she passes
along corridors past bedrooms.
She knows it is time to go home.
Surely they understand that ?

She walks briskly downhill,
how to cross the road ?
With cars rushing by ?
She wants to reach the other side
to go back home again.

Two uniforms appear with a wheelchair
to take her back to the place that’s not home,
to the room that’s not hers.

“Mrs Jones, where are you going ?”
Why do they always say that ?
She walks out again
her legs get too tired.
She tells the man pruning his bushes
she must sit on his wall to rest her legs.
He smiles. goes inside, returns with a chair.

Two uniforms appear with a wheelchair !
They greet and thank the man !!
He rang the place she had left !!

They take her back along the road
to the place that’s not home
to the room that’s not hers.
But she must go home now,
she’s been gone too long,
surely they understand that ?

They say she lives here now.
Her husband will come this afternoon
and visit her in her room.

Previously posted February 2016.

Going Home


Mrs Jones did her home chores
all day as she ran her home
just as her foremothers did.
Mr Jones took all this as his due
for long days at a man’s job,
just as his forefathers did.

After more than forty years
he was puzzled when
shopping was not done,
clothes were not washed.
Mrs Jones was puzzled too,
she stared at him blankly
when asked if dinner was ready.

Mr Jones knew what men did
which was not cooking dinner,
but only he was cooking meals.

Mrs Jones did her best.
She put the pan on the element,
turned it on, then wandered outside
to stare at the magnolia tree.

She put in the plug
filled the hand basin
with hot water and
was shocked when
the bathroom floor
scalded her feet.

When Mr Jones came
home from shopping
the iron was smoking on its board.
He awoke one morning to
a fire in the pan on the stove.

The doctor filled in forms,
officials met Mrs Jones.
Mr Jones filled in forms
and visited places.

Mrs Jones lives in the rest home
they cook dinner for her there.
Mr Jones cooks his own dinner at home.

Previously posted February 2016.


Railway Stations

Pudding lane, Bow Church, All Saints,
Poplar. The overhead railway runs
high above long lanes of commuter traffic
flashing trails of red tail lights,
white headlights, in the dark morning.
Ancient names overarching modern machines.

Heron Quays, West India Quay, Canary Wharf.
We glide from small station shelters
into a vast overhead dome
to change trains amongst milling throngs
rushing to work in glass cased offices.

West India Dock, Crossharbour, Mudchute
appear as daylight grows.
Another day, off to work again,
in futuristic transport
yet a little out of this world
as I pass names established
so long ago, recurring still
in history books
and present day news.

Previously posted December 2015.

Railway Stations