She’d travelled from Pinner, the aunt I liked least
And goodies meant for me she consumed like a feast
Then suddenly she stood and said she had to go
The bell will ring shortly, I’ll see you soon Joe.
And five o’clock surely is the saddest of times
All the visitors are gone as that bell cruelly chimes
It’s soon time for tea in its various guises
You give up all hope at the nightly surprises.
The hours leach away round the clock oh so slow
You’re stuck in this sickbed with nowhere to go
And porters all vanish, and orderlies too
And nurses change shifts every night as they do.
So you pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read
It’s blood pressure time then, so you have to concede
And you ask what it is as you would like to know
Though all that they say is, your pressure’s fine Joe.
And the hours stretch away far into the night
The man in the far corner bed gave them fright
The bed that he’d been in was empty again
We all know he died, we just don’t know when.
Anyway, the doc on his rounds came to see me today
He said I was much better and I could be on my way
So I’ll just thank the staff, it the proper thing to do
Then get myself home with no more to do.
©Joe Wilson – When the visitors have all left…2015
I wrote this after reading Five O’clock Shadow by the wonderful Sir John Betjeman