My dad’s asleep. Once he wanted his story told.
But now he sleeps, hat cocked to one side.
Outside it rains and I’ve got to get him home.
Volunteers wait to show people where they need
Touch screens, the first time, not always easy
Hmm! People fumble with words: gender, address,
date of birth…
The television displays your name. We don’t
mind no privacy –
Privacy is low down on the agenda. Anything
I’ll tell you what I don’t like,
the way that woman’s picked up her paperback,
bent the cover
as if it had no feeling, no back bone.
We say things we never thought we’d have
I like watching the volunteers, they clutch their
reassurance I suppose as they guide us to lifts,
Appointments are running late —
we’re all on edge today but doctors need time
run tests. We all know really.
I like watching movement, faces, signs.
Everyone wants to be the winner.
But there’s coffee and Richard in the coffee bar
mixes another cappuccino and welcomes
everyone, treats us
like babes in the wood looking for a way home.
That man over there greeting his lover,
that carer attentive to every move,
ambulance drivers come in, cheerful to pick up
The lobby speaks of the everyday, the next
number for blood tests,
the rain, the shaking of umbrellas, the
sucking of fruit gums,
tears, laughter, name recognition and
the pulse of now.
And my old dad still sleeps through the rain.
Got to get him home.