Waiting, for Sheila *

Waiting, for Sheila,

is the unremitting drudgery of ninety

for her children, who visit every day

though she forgets, and spends the lonely hours

still wondering why they promised they would come.

 

Waiting, for Sheila,

is the corner of a muffled pastel room

where she occupies a comfortable throne

with her coterie of courtiers

and parade of silent jesters

on the miniature stage

of the glass-fronted box.

 

Waiting, for Sheila,

is the passing of the seasons yet again

of the feasts she used to celebrate

which now are just a chore

and the constant disappointment

as she wakes again each morning.

 

*The late poet Geoff Stevens once set a competition for which entrants were asked to write a poem with the title of a novel by John Updike. I chose ‘Waiting For Sheila’ as my late mother was called Sheila and was then in a nursing home and there just wasn’t enough stimulation for her agile mind.

 

 

 

 

 

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