Poem: Choir Day

It still hangs in his closet,
His trench coat, his badge of office.
Dust settles on its shoulders
Its colour fading into sepia
A patch covering an elbow,
Also faded. A small line of thread
Zigzagging under
The right sleeve,
Matching the scar on his right side,
His puckered skin fading.

Occasionally he feels the knife
Twisting on cold days
Sliding in and out on old days
He grins and grimaces in turn
It’s going to storm soon
Old Man Brown levers himself
Standing and unfolding
Stiff with rust

A cold wind stirs a plastic bag
Clouds smother the sky
Making the trees seem closer to
Heaven. The traffic rumbles
Constantly, throwing out
An occasional siren
Their exhaust lies
Like a tainted patina on
A rusty copper city.

But it’s not enough to mask
The singing coming from
Within the retirement home.
Old Man Brown grimaces.
Thursday is choir day.
A good reason to
Stay outside.

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