Orderly Gray (Narrative Poem)

There is big excitement in the convalescent home today.
Daniel Coleman
Is walking
Without holding
The metal hallway railing that assists the patients.
Each slow-motion step
Is its own awakening from death.
People line the sterilized, peach-wallpapered halls
As if they are all
Welcoming a war hero home.
Daniel’s doing
Is as if he is moving
A mountain,
The rest of us
Write off walking effortlessly
As talking and the swaying of trees.
In case he should need it, right behind
And poised to catch the boy of seventeen
Is his faithful orderly, Gray.
White was Gray when Daniel first appeared
On the home’s new arrivals list,
A name he’d remembered from the local newspaper.
Is something the matter Gray? The others asked.
No, only his prognosis looks bleak.
No one believed
Daniel would regain his memory.
With Gray’s help he did;
Gray had vowed to help that kid,
It had become very important to him.
Slowly, he remembered his own mother again.
He fed himself again,
Read his books again,
Got out of bed again,
All thanks to the devoted Orderly Gray.
Now, in the midst of Daniel’s walking parade,
Gray grows afraid
Daniel will one day
Remember the gray eyes
Of the man who drove behind
The wheel of the Chevy
That had accidentally smashed Daniel’s body
At a railroad crossing
Two summers ago,
And drove away.

(Click to Hear the Audio Version)

Listen to Orderly Gray (FFP Dark Poem) by Fitful, Fearful, Phantasmal #np on #SoundCloud

Author’s Note:

I got inspired to write a narrative poem about people gathering around and getting excited about an everyday occurrence that is somehow grander to them because of the darkness of their situation. And this subject came to mind, a car accident victim who was slated to never regain his memory, move, or walk again but he eventually does.

I was going to leave the poem at that. However, in keeping with my FFP theme (Twilight Zone, King, Poe) I immediately thought of an ironic situation in which a nursing home orderly is the perpetrator of a hit and run. The very boy he had hit with his car one night shows up to be cared for at the home where he works. I imagined the orderly is shocked at first, then believes it is some divinely-ordained duty of his to help the boy regain his health and he does whatever he can to make that happen, going above and beyond. In fact, the boy does so well, that the orderly worries the boy will one day put two and two together and recall that it was the orderly who had hit him with his car.

I would kind of like to develop this into the plot of a short story. But I can’t find the time nor the inclination to do it well and do it in an entertaining-enough way as of right now. Hopefully I do someday.

Thanks for reading, readers. โค

Featured Image By: mclelun

13 thoughts on “Orderly Gray (Narrative Poem)

Add yours

  1. You’ve put so much in here! First the atmosphere as Daniel starts to walk, and the excitement about it – about that small, but huge event. And then those powerful last lines! I really hope you save this poem and some day develop it into a story. I see a lot of possibility here.


  2. Amazing amazing amazinnggg! I love this genre of writing that depicts perseverance and faith and hope and all of those golden things. And the smashing movie-style plot of him having to painstakingly relearn, and succeed, at what most of us take as a given. You then went on to take it to a whole new level with that amaaaaazing ending. Wow. Just wow.


    1. You SO get me! Yes. Those golden things. Thank you for appreciating the little surprise-let at the end. So happy you read this. When Mariam likes my stuff then I beee happyyy! ๐Ÿ™‚ hoping all is well with you and the job isn’t swallowing you. Allah hafiz girl! โค

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: