Tremulous hands, dappled and pale,
reached for the letter, its words
a great anticipation, a heart stopping fear,
and so he tore it open with a jerking motion,
and looked at it, pensively,
folded on the table before him.
Its shadow under the light was sharp and black,
edged and defined as if to deliver in itself;
so he reached out
and began to unfold it shakily,
pursing his narrow dry lips,
one eye twitching.
He nervously read the first line,
“With regret,” it said,
and his pallid eyes closed slowly, beaten
before he had even read the rest,
and a tear formed under one lid
a crystal drop falling down his gaunt face.
His heart sank, his stomach knotted,
as he read on to swallow the impact:
“unable to offer assistance at this time,”
it read, leaving his last resort
a door well and truly closed,
and the knowledge that he had nowhere to go.
Age was like a disease of incapacity,
still living, but for all purposes dead,
as no family meant no responsibility,
and no responsibility meant no assistance,
not a caring soul about his homeless fate,
and this was no way to die.
A man who fought for kin and country,
lost, fallen between the floorboards,
and with no voice, no-one listened,
without anger no-one heard or wanted to,
for he was old, tired and not the stomach for contention,
just a fading of life in a place that was supposed to care.
Tony DeLorger © 2016