by Tom Baker

No one tells you
that when you get old
you become someone's
load to carry, someone's
work to do. The nurse,
whose work I am,
speaks to my name
but not to me
as if I were an animal
to be trained or tricked,
for whom its name is
the beginning and the end
of meaning. When she is
finished with me I
lay back, still, pretending
to be almost dead: the
promise of less work to do
less said and listened to.
I am as lonely as a fence
post in the snow but
am no post. No! I am
an old man, bewildered
in my sheets. Alone.
I warn you now, make plans
or you will not die at home.


© Copyright Tom Baker 2019- 2008