the art of rolling down summer hills

It wasn’t that she was not used
to faceless alleys, clinically clean
or disgustingly dirty – just as life can get

and it wasn’t that she was not used
to fight her way along the gangways
of some nightmares, side by side
with people she had met along the way

She shakes her head and pauses,
measures life in thirty minute slips
and they feel easy in the pockets of
her dressing gown

What really bothers her
is the lost art of rolling down these aisles
and make them smell like summer lawns

Remembering the scent
when flowers fell to dust in curly
hair, wrapping her nights with
deep blue summer groove – she sighs

Today, it’s drugs and wheelchairs
standing in her way –

another thirty minute slip

She smiles a bit and turns her head,
wrinkles her nose and for a moment
she feels lightweight,
leaned against the wind, her world

getting green again

This poem is my response to the One Shoot Sunday Challenge. The above photo was shot by Canadian photographer Greg Laychak. Check out the interview over at One Stop and I can highly recommend to jump over to Greg’s website to see more of his fantastic photography.


28 responses to “the art of rolling down summer hills

  1. >What's brought to mind is that combination of smells so common in nursing homes – antiseptic, floor cleaners, and often illness. And yet – there is the smell of the "lightweight" and the "green." Good poem, Claudia.

  2. >A beautiful poem that begins with an excellent title. Often I think such 30 minute slips may encompass eternity for some, so when you write, "measures life in thirty minute slips" it carries heavy meaning in the light of dementia. Great details too.

  3. >Yes, it does come down to time in measures for the world's workers. Where do thoughts take us as we snip up time in segments and later roll along to the smells of lysol and alcohol scrubbed hallways. Well written Claudia and it captures the image.Gay

  4. >the idea of thirty minute slips just fitting in her pocket is evocative and suggestive of the way life must be lived as time goes by and the world just gets quicker and quicker

  5. >really nicely done claudia…having worked in those homes in the past you capture the scene well…the little slips you mention…i like the turn to a bit of hope there in the end….

  6. >Claudia. Claudia! How do you do this? It is simply "Out of this world" and yet, "IN this world"…and with such knowledge and compassion you give us that message–of how it is, with some…and how it will be–with others.(I just hope there is a computer attached to me wheelchair–BIG GRIN!)PEACE!

  7. >You brought hope to a prompt utterly without light for me, on this Easter, and as a veteran of a nursing home. This is a masterpiece; I think your best of those I've read so far, Claudia. I especially loved: Remembering the scentwhen flowers fell to dust in curlyhair, wrapping her nights with deep blue summer groove – she sighsToday, it's drugs and wheelchairsstanding in her way – another thirty minute slipShe smiles a bit and turns her head,wrinkles her nose and for a momentshe feels lightweight,leaned against the wind, her worldgetting green again

  8. >Well said in all ways, Claudia, and also beautifully said. This was a difficult prompt to get to the heart of, but you've done that here. The end is perfect.

  9. >Hi! Claudia…Just like Brian's poem your poetry is very thought-provoking and reflective too!The words…Your words truly compliment the photograph and the mindset Of an elderly person reflection of the past intertwined with the present.Thanks, for sharing the links too!DeeDee 😉

  10. >absolutely fabulous! I feel as though I know her now and want to pay her a visit. The smells weaved in there really underlined the piece.

  11. >i'm amazed at the bit of music I gleaned from this piece.. some wonderful images, too, my favorite,measures life in thirty minute slipsand they feel easy in the pockets ofher dressing gown..such a wonderfully original take on a tough subject ~

  12. >…liebe Claudia, auch heikle Themen füllst du mit Poesie…30 Minuten, was ist das im Meer der Zeit? ein Tropfen der wichtig ist, um voran zu kommen auf Rädern durch die Flure…"kommt jemand die Einsamkeit mit Liebe zu füllen?"

  13. >I just visited an Aunt yesterday in a rehab because she had a slip – she has many lately. You've shown that even this has a beauty all its own.