George

by John Stocks

A hospital has constructed a bus stop on its grounds
to help find dementia patients who have wandered away.


They found him bewildered at the bus stop
His head filled with poetry
Waiting for a bus that would never arrive.

In a fog of dislocation
And a blow from the North that chilled his bones
Bound in a nutshell of sorrows
Scarcely conscious
A long way from home.

(Fragments falling into mind
Remnants from kindlier times)

Two hours he waited, or a hundred years
With all his memories locked
It was impossible to recapture her
All the dreams that they had shared
The delicate warmth of all-sustaining love.

Dimly he recalled how he had been cherished
A mother’s ebullient son
A distant glimpse of society within
And then of course a lover
Somewhere beyond the darkness, there had been a life.

Why am I here?
Will they come for me soon?
He saw the shelter light
Flicker and die
Felt the ghastly silence.
When will they come?


Copyright © 2009 by John Stocks

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