In the outer suburbs,
in the space between the bush and the town,
therapy is what you get from a physio.
When the cracks appear in the plaster
and they start to match up with your mind,
because the foundations have slipped,
you ask not for whom the telephone bell tolls
because it never tolls for thee.
In the silence you can hear Death whispering
and your GP says ‘take these’.
You scream at the TV and the three-piece suite
and the made-to-measure lined drapes,
‘I invested in you, where is my dividend?’
And these things scream back their nothing response.
Your children, who abandoned your church
tell you to take up yoga and your mouth says ‘yes’
and your heart says ‘is that all there is?’
You’ve played the game
and did what you had to do
and you come to the end
and your kids feed you mumbo jumbo they’ve picked up
with the education that cost your world to give,
their clever minds and dumb hearts
deaf to your rhythms and your reality.
You wish to God your own parents had owned up to this swindle
and that you could stop counting the ghosts
that fill in the gaps in the queue of your past people.
And that your grandchildren knew more about you
than your bottomless pit of little presents.
And that that bastard who mows his lawns at 7 a.m. on Sundays
would stop without having to be asked.
And that any of it made any sense.
And that everything would just stop for a while
while you get your bearings
so that you could know …….. not everything
but just one thing that you were sure was true
for now and for ever
instead of watching the cracks spreading
in all of the plaster.