All Day in Retirement

By Ross, 73. Perth, WA

I’m prone on the loungeroom couch
when sunlight beam strikes
the mantelpiece
slicking a China dog’s face
my one opened eye

our book club book, one of my few
windows to the outside
attempted afresh
between short bouts of drowsing
same five-word sentence, over and over…

until the dogs bring on lunchtime
by licking the fingers
at the end, of an as yet, undead arm
forcing me to share what’s left of juice
from a salmon can
opened, when was it… yesterday?

going out with them into quiet afternoon
noticing things, such as
cars magnetised like iron filings
to the car park of the local school
when it’s just about to close
(are youngsters these days
unable to walk or cycle home?)

a jigsaw of my memories
playing chasey
in and out of slanted twilight
like wattlebirds do
sending off crows
from the grove of trees
away from the lonely park

after our return
standing inside the hallway
unharnessing the dogs
I can’t remember anything
of the long walk home
and I already know
the little bit of mail in my hand
will have no news of concern
to me now

it’s blowing leaves of unread poems
filling the air above my pillow
which may help a little
in slowing my climb
to annihilation

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