Elsie – Jim C. Mackintosh

No need to knock. At most, softly on the door then go in
There in the hush, of days counted down in pencil, circled bold
Of not much else but one ambition – fussed and royally appointed
On a calendar by the fireplace, a glow toasting memories wearing thin
In a bundle of knitted simplicity – sits Elsie alone, yet no longer feeling old
A few days short of the hundred, content to reach it less the Hoohah anointed
By the Queen to hand over the Telegram and pose for the media prize
With Elsie who will raise a smile – just, but inwardly biting her tongue.
They don’t know her, this incredible woman who walked from China to India
To survive the churn of bloody war – a nurse, a missionary – her true eyes
Beyond their know, unless they ask, and they won’t. Once they’ve sung
The Song, the crumbs of fuss brushed away, in the hush not too far
Of no longer counted or circled bold days, Elsie will sit alone and wait.
So in the grubby chill, chap on Elsie’s door across the road from you. Don’t be late.

About aloudqmu

Aloud is a monthly poetry and spoken word open mic night, and literary magazine. We are based in Glasgow University's Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Here we wish to publish performance videos from our open mic nights, event updates, and the writing featured in our monthly Aloud Magazine, and some of the writing that didn't quite make the final cut.
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