Almanac Poetry: ‘The Theys’ – Tommy Mallet


The Theys


The theys, they say;

“He died peacefully in his sleep,

surrounded by loved ones.”


The liars.

He died after months of pain,

and humiliation.

The shame of powerlessness.


A sea of family waking him when he needed rest,

that weren’t there when they were needed.


The theys don’t talk about how family

wear you down.


How you end up loathing

hugs and earnestness,

and ad nauseum offerings of;

“Would you like some tea?”

Of; “How are you doing?”

And, worse, the way they badger you

with; “…how much

he loved you!”


These people you won’t see

for a decade either side.


The theys don’t talk about the old lady

in the room across from him,

that screams “HELP!” all day and night,





The old crow.


How the orderlies come charging;


“What’s wrong, Gladice?”

But she just mumbles,

then yells again when they leave.


The theys don’t hear him mumble and gasp

his last speech,

about how he has no time.

This, that,

everything he hopes for, dreams,

everywhere he looks:


“No time, no time, no fucking time!”


He does what he has to,

to make one more minute work,

to die yesterday,


to die months ago.


But the theys won’t let him,

there are political points to score.


Points with God to score.


It baffles me. He flooded the world.

He let Jesus go.


The theys, they do stupid, vaudeville dances,

all in a row.


It’s the morphine that brings

the illusion of peacefulness.


“How’s he doing?” family members ask,

on arrival.


By now,

only he knows.




More poetry from Tommy Mallet can be read Here.


More poetry from Almanac Poetry can be read HERE


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  1. Malby Dangles says

    Sending a hug for this bracing poem.

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