Showering Grandma – a poem by Roger Elkin

Showering Grandma


You sensed she’d reckoned

right from the start we were kitting-out

this wet-room especially for her.


That’s why she sits resplendent now

on the bath-stool she’s placed just-so

beneath the snaking shower head.


Only those parts of her usually

seen are out of sight; her perm

under the apple-green shower-cap,


her engagement solitaire islanded

on the side where her wedding-ring

waylays the play of light and glass.


And she’s kept her best dentures in.

Though you expected her crossed

arms and hands to mask her breasts


and what she names her fadge,

they’re flagrantly on view, as brazen

as the day of birth. So, let’s cherish


this wealth of flesh, worn honestly,

ready to accept the benediction

of pelting water-jets, the circling


shower-gel. See the caramel bands

that ring her nipples, the marbled thighs,

the archipelago of moles tracking down


her back, its alabaster sheen with

under-veins of magenta, indigo and red.

There’s beauty here – you could paint it


if she asked you to – a beauty

that counterpoints the hurt and harm

of ageing, the trials of time.


© Roger Elkin