THAT GLORIOUS SONG OF OLD Wheelchairs and daybeds pushed into the main lounge Patronizing smiles of local touring songsters bob condescendingly, fearfully, up and down to jingling bells lights twinkling in odd syncopation fruitcake doled out to those without restricted diets Virgin Mary and virgin eggnog Raise a toast in palsied hands and swallow your meds, please Fresh pine in the foyer cannot mask the reek of age-related accidents Former choir director in her finest sweatsuit flailing St. Vitas arms lurching antlers for Rudolph and his gang Reclusive withered man from down the hall suddenly stands and Harks the Herald astonishing attendants on duty with a surprisingly strong baritone Golden Horizons is rocking, rocking, rockin’ round the Christmas tree tonight Back to the future childlike wonder on senile faces Every time the front doors open all heads that are able turn with habitual expectation clouded eyes shamefully retreating into resignation learned from weeks, months, years of loneliness Why should tonight be any different? This is family now nurses, doctors, volunteers tend feeble, incontinent, tremulous souls Wizened bodies slowly curling back into fetal shapes before their final pilgrimage Following that star of Bethlehem Home.
Lori D. Roadhouse is a Calgary writer, poet, aphorist and singer. She is involved with many poetry organizations and is a Board member of the Single Onions Poetry Series. From 2008-2010 she was co-artistic director, performer and MC of Lotus Land at South Country Fair, and was the 2009 Poet-in-Residence for Radiant Lights eMagazine. Lori co-created the Writing Toward the Light Poetry Contest and Concert. She was the Poet Laureate for the 2015 Peter Gzowski International PGI for Literacy event for CanLearn Society. She is a featured reader at poetry and spoken word events, and has been published in many anthologies, magazines, newsletters, websites, radio programs, and CDs. Most recently, Lori has participated as a consulting editor for WordCity Monthly.