I was sitting in casualty and I saw all of these old people lying in the hallway, discarded beings with paper faces and lined skin and it came to me the, it came to me that this is what its all about, the big stinking mess. Is this what you go through the motions for to end up in this cubicle with grey faded flowers and a bed of steel? Do all of us have a bed somewhere to look forward to? Where we'll lie prone, with our mouths open, like we're gasping for something. Gasping for life.
I saw your eyes watching me from across the room. They were soft, nostalgic. Open.
You must have been looking at me for sometime and what did you see? You must have seen a Mother with tears in her eyes and a small blond child in her arms who was crying. did you see my tears as they fell onto his hair, streaking the wheat on his head? Did you see my caress as I smoothed his back and hushed him? You did. Because you had done that yourself, a flick of an eye before,a moment in time ago, when you too ran your hands across your childs brow. Those hands weren't stained with age then, no they were long and slender and your back was straight and you said ''whist'' many times over and your lap was strong and motherly. Look at you now poor little old lady with your daughter by your side. She must be my age. Funny how this place is full of mothers and daughters. No sons and fathers, no sons and mothers, just mothers and daughters. Your daughter seems concerned for you like I am for the child on my lap. She resembles you like you must have looked at forty but look far more elegant than she is in your Sea Blue Cardigan, your Scholl Sandals. What brought you in here, to this brown place full of orders and xrays and large Pink envelopes and the lady who talks on the phone in a loud commanding voice? Why are you looking at me like that, leaning out toward me like you want to touch me and the child who cannot stop his tears?
On the silent Television screen in the corner I see the President at a Horse Show in Dublin - all clean and Presidential looking, nice coral suit, guaranteed not to crease. Will she need a bed somewhere too? Does she floss each night and massage anti-wrinkle cream into her alabaster skin? My child sees her and suddenly stops crying. ''Look at the lady on the T.V.'', he says. The President is smiling, a serene, careful, appropriate smile.
''Isn't that funny'', I say to him and he laughs too and you nod at me then and a knowing smile crosses your face.
When we finally get to leave I look for you and see you, miles away in a corner, cublicled and alone. Tired.. I wave to you, glad to be going, glad we are about to leave this sick, sad, desperate place. I wave at you again but you do not return my hand, as you lie, like all the rest, waiting for the night.