Thank You Not (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 23 Sep 2022 in Art, Poems

Pastel drawing of two faces one doubtful one angry




Thank You Not


As many times as they came round with the syringe

Offering again―the words they used―relief from pain

He had refused

“Pain I can bear,” he told them

“But I will always be here.”

Escorted to his granddaughter’s arm

She, peeling free magenta roses and her

handbag’s strap glued by sweat

had waited a weary time on her feet

A blue, dark-chocolate note of fruit that carries

a hint of steel

Exuded puffing as each thrust of her hips jolted

Unbending stems plucked bare of thorns

The old man’s arms were bone and sinew

And nerves quivered from wrist to elbow

with a drilling ache at the collarbone

They had not snuffed his vengeful fire

She paces ahead and stops, then scuttles

down a concrete ramp

Twenty years have passed and she seems to him

the same

Dressed in her high wedges and bell skirt

She checks her steps again

To be proven right

To give no inch until life yields all its promise

This culmination of all human desire

He is an implacable old prisoner

Free, his enemies unvanquished

but dead now, forgotten

He catches her at last, her hand drops to her side

The greenhouse flowers seem cast in iron




Thank You Not
Thumbnail of cover for The Poor Belabored Beast















(2015, Stephanie Foster)





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