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  • Olga Hendel

Lights Out by Carol Body


The poem below came about while I was having 2 weeks of residential rehab. I learnt how to stand up again from sitting and improve my walking after a relapse, so I could shower by myself etc. The shower room was one of those with a sink, toilet, shower and grab rails all round. It is literally true as I did not realise that the lights in that room worked on a movement sensor. With the curtain around the shower it did not sense my movements so the lights went out and it was pitch black. I was frightened so pulled the chord then a nice lady nurse came and the light went back on. At least it makes me laugh to remember


Lights out


Enjoying the splash of water on my hair

Sat on the shower seat shampoo everywhere

Quietly, surprisingly, without any warning

The light disappeared and fearing to fall

I remembered the emergency cord on the wall.

Don’t send a man I prayed. It’s no joke.

In the dark I sit naked and covered in soap.


So advice for you bathers

Thwart the movement sensors plan

Shake a leg out through the curtain,

Practise the cancan.


Carol Body


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Edited by Nigel Bartram and illustrated by Olga Hendel