the smell of stockings

Psychiatry 1: The Early Years – Poem 5 


there is a particular odour
that attaches itself to feet
when the shoes are removed
at the end of a thirteen-hour day
that begins
with the tepid sloshing waters
of showers and baths
for forty-five incontinents

the leather of the shoes
captures moisture
and holds it
in a tight-fitting soup
that surrounds feet and winter hose
as the day goes on
with cleaning and washing floors
in the clammy warmth
of a steam-heated ward

my mother wants only
to take her shoes off
to rest swollen
and painful feet

I want
to leave the room


© Frank Prem, 2016

Next: conditions of employment

Notes on: the smell of stockings

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