Sunday, 12 March 2017


When did

The sound of my voice

Become an inconvenient


At the other end of a phone

The focus of

Forced niceties 

And barely concealed sighs?

When did

An invitation for my presence

At family gatherings

Become a reluctant


The product of

Guilt-laced obligation

Rather than want?

When did

A loved one's visit

Become an accommodating


Of  cheerful attendance

And frequent

Surreptitious glances 

Towards the clock?

When did

My talk and opinions

Become regarded

 Inconsequential babble

Politely tolerated


Placatory smiles

Of covert condescension?

When did

The buoyant and essential me

Become deemed

An irksome burden

A repository 

Of defunct purpose

And ever eroding


When did

The value of me

Become measured

Purely by

My fading dexterity

And not by

The vitality

Of my essence?


When I grew old

My friend

When I grew old.

Poem only © Copyright Lynn Gerrard