Jim & Vera

You know he hasn’t been well
these past few weeks.
Vera looks away, fingering the brooch
on her overcoat.
He’s got a lot of fluid in his legs
and his ankles.
Well, you know he’ll be thirty-four
next birthday. Of course, she means
ninety-four. He survived Changi
all those years ago so he’s got
some age on him, that’s for sure.
She looks down at her two
navy shoes, then up again.
She leans closer to my ear.
You know my words aren’t so good
since the stroke.
I hope you can understand me.
They say he might need a stretch in hospital
to get him right. She looks down
once more. You know it’s a worry
’cause I can’t do much for myself these days.
It’s a bit of a worry, you know.

Gregory Piko
Poetry d’Amour Anthology, 2021