• Marian Glaser


Marian Glaser ©, April 1996

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I sit in my wheelchair waiting for food.

Bill and I sat at a wooden table,

taking the time to talk.

We saw squirrels chasing around the boles

of our maples, balance

on our phone and wash lines,

build nests in attics, in chimneys,

steal food from birdfeeders

and eat the bulbs I planted.

I’m now being wheeled into a formal garden.

“Dear”s and “Honey”s help make me

feel like an infant.

I wait for water to drink and wash.

I’m handled like an object called ‘she’, pushed and pulled,

hear patients shout “Help!” when none is needed

that can be given.

Where is that inner peace I once was sure

would end our life?

These golden years were going to be spent

reading, traveling with my husband,

gardening, chatting with friends,

reminiscing with Bill about our life, memories, jobs,

avoiding our cat when sweeping,

thinking of the memories each moment holds.

My tray has come. Before I eat

this anger

caused by being treated like empty air

by people who claim my most idle whim

is their command

must pass.

NOTE: A cross-Canada survey on neglect and abuse in long term care hospitals was made. I was asked to be on the steering committee but realized I did not have the energy. So, they asked me to write a poem for the educational package. I did, and this was published on the first page. Ten years later, my poem was still being used in discussion groups in various hospitals.

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