St. Albans Hospice (The Street #8)

The room was sparsely furnished

But the room was very clean

“I think my mum will like this”

said Veronica McQueen

“The bed, folds up from both ends”

“And it’s heated too, you’ll see”

“there’s a dresser in the corner”

“With a spot for a TV”

She walked on to the window

Looked on out to see the view

She could see a little chapel

With a pathway out there too

“The residents…they’re treated well ?”

Veronica asked Joan

“They’re given the best sort of care”

“But here, they’re not alone”

A tour around the grounds then

settled down poor Ronnies nerves

She was sure her Mum would feel at home

It’s the best that she deserves

But, before she signed the papers

She chose to walk on down the path

It was gravel with some thyme beside

Part way down…a small bird bath

She saw a man just sitting

On a bench…all by himself

He was dressed up all in green

He looked like a little elf

He was talking to the wind she thought

For no one was around

But, she realized whom he spoke too

When he rose and looked around

He walked up to a marker

And stooping low on his old knees

He kissed the stone so gently

Beneath the lowing trees

Veronica then left him

And she hurried to the house

She did not want to scare him

She was as quiet as  a mouse

She said “I’ll sign the papers”

“It’s so nice and peaceful here”

So the two finished their dealings

With a solemn “Thank you dear”

Ronnie’s mum…now that’s a story

single mother all her life

Ronnie never knew her father

Her mum was never someone’s wife

She worked two jobs for quite a time

She was always working hard

So Veronica could grow up with

A nice house with a yard

A few years back the doctors said

ALS had ventured forth

And that Ronnie would need expert help

They said, for what it’s worth

Well, two years in…past what they said

Ronnie had to find a place

Where her mother could close out her life

With dignity and grace

She’d found the perfect hospice

At St. Albans by the shore

It had all that she needed

She just couldn’t ask for more

By the time they moved her mother in

Her voice was lost inside

But the staff could see, this woman

was full of love and pride

She knew where she would end up

Ronnie took her down to see

Her mother’s voice box spoke out

“I’m so glad you’re here with me”

“You’ve become a strong, young woman”

“One I’m proud to call my own”

“You’re a woman in my image”

“You’re more special than you know”

Veronica, looked out to sea

And she thought of the old man

Who she saw such a short time ago

On the day she turned and ran.

She picked a spot and wheeled her Mum

Beneath the bending, willow tree

She stood behind her and she looked

At the view out to the sea

There were sailboats, seagulls, beachcombers

She could see from where she stood

She would lay her mum to rest right here

And she thought, “yes, this is good”

Two weeks past by and Ronnies Mum

Was taken in the night

They said she didn’t suffer

And that all would be all right

A service was held down the path

And they laid her mum to rest

There were staff there, and Veronica

And this old man in his vest

He said “My Mary’s over there”

“Beside the bench, beneath the tree”

“I’m sure they’ll be the best of friends’

“And if they can, why don’t we?”

Ronnie stared at this poor man

and she said ” That would be nice”

He then said “now, we’re friend my dear”

“Come with me, we’ll have a slice”

He’d brought some ginger cake along

For his visit to his wife

Now, twice weekly he and Ronnie

Spend time talking ’bout their life

Now these two could share their stories

And give the dead what they deserved

At that small St. Albans Hospice

By the seaside  round the curve.

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