For Margaret - Ned Massey
The sterile white Florence Nightingale
Makes her way down the hall
To attend to her patients
Whom she never sees at all.
To her they're just faceless old folks
Too poor and weak to be out on their own
She doesn't see their pleading gaze
They don't want to die alone.
Margaret, silent Margaret
Hears voices in the hallway
Outside her bleak and barren room
Where she sits and stares all day.
But Margaret, lonely Margaret,
Just watches the world go by
And as the birds go by her window
She wishes she could fly.
Billy remembers fondly
Of his years spent in the infantry corps
And he's so proud of the medals he won
In the first world war.
Coming home victorious
And the welcome the doughboys received
But that was sixty-five years ago
Now he can't help but feel he's been deceived
In their state institutions
With no hope of restitution
For the pride that was stolen
For the life that they once knew
No one ever comes to visit
No one even knows they're there
Trapped inside their empty souls
With the dreams they'd love to share.
Harry's face is twisted in pain
And his hands cover his ears
Because the screaming that haunts him so
Is the silence that nobody hears
He reaches out for anyone
Just to tell him he is real
To comfort him to give him love
But despair is ail he feels.
Emily clutches her rosary
With hands aged and weak
She doesn't pray for forgiveness
Relief is all she seeks
She prays through force of habit
She's given up on divine intervention
She just hopes that someone will end
Her life of one dimension.
I know this song's a sad one
But it's one I had to tell
'Cause If you do all right
The way you live your life
You shouldn't have to die in hell
So this one's for Margaret, silent Margaret
And for Billy who fought in the war
For Harry who doesn't want to die alone
And for Emily who doesn't believe anymore.
So won't you please listen
Won't you show you care?
© 1978 by Ned Massey