old age home

by mandaceehb

why is an old age home called a home

when the elderly are apart from their family,

a collection of

physically broken souls?

the Christmas season has come and stays

manifested in gigantic Christmas trees

artificially evergreen but sparkling with beautiful baubles

and snowmen arts-and-craft that their wrinkled hands have

adorned with glittering sequins

someone has even engraved a neat ‘B’, perhaps an initial

but paper is the closest to snow they will ever have

Christmas carols float through the air

a merry choir sings to them,

bobbing heads crowned with santa hats

an old man folds his fingers into fists

pounds them together, animalistic applause

an old woman absentmindedly traces patterns on the tabletop

the volunteers clap heartily,

the bulk of sound, soul that fills a benumbed body

off-centre gazes and scattered minds

purple gift bags stuffed with blankets and soap

we distribute to the residents

an old lady cradles it like an infant

perhaps because for so long,

there had been nothing beside her but her own bones

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