From Hugh Roberts. What do you think happens when we die?
from Lonely Keyboards
It was obvious that a new, possibly final phase had been entered when Mother got lost walking home from the shops, a journey undertaken every second day for many years. Closer examination—forensic, domestic—suggested her weight loss was not illness but forgetting to eat.
A few weeks of regular meals in the new accommodation and she was looking fuller and healthier. Happy pottering around the paths of the facility and stopping for a cigarette on her favourite bench. Then she started wandering further. Down the street, across a main road. Traffic sense intact yet, with so little language now available, not exactly safe.
She always liked walking. As long as she was walking she was happy.
Happy? An assumption, but one borne out by seeing the negative contact prints. The police got a bit grumpy about picking her up and depositing her back at the facility. The facility got grumpy about…
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from the Feathered Sleep
Sat facing away from the sun
an old man wipes years from his eyes
drawn over with cataract like milky bath water
he strains to see the outline of motion
where are all the old men? He thinks
once so barrel chested and neatly trimmed
with mustaches and shiny hair like Cover Girl teens
where are all the eighties queers who painted beaches
with tight abs and tiny shorts in tropical shades?
now half empty, the beach longs for color
only rotund women with bristly chins
unkempt hair chopped without thought
some with children or children’s children
placing sensible shades and thick UV factor 50
on slow-moving parts of themselves
in previous years you could
reach out and paint a rainbow
in their courage of being twenty
though lesbians and gay men do not
always a palate make
such contrasts in their expression
these women without restraint
mopping the brows…
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