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The Matron

In a Care Home in the North of Spain

Whoosh went the door,

And Pedro, with his frailty of

Ninety well-lived years,

Was knocked aside.

In swept the carer, efficient,

Quick and strong,

Carrying a pile of clean sheets from the laundry,

White as snow and folded beautifully.

‘Don’t stand there, Pedro,’ she cried in anger.

Look, I nearly knocked you down.

Don´t stand behind this door!’

The matron quietly appeared,

‘Dolores, one moment, if you have the time!’

‘I have to take these sheets upstairs!’

She said and started on her way.

The matron fixed her with her eyes

And smiled.

‘Dolores! I will not keep you long!

Just put those sheets down on that chair,

And remember this.

This house is Sr Pedro’s home.

This house is home to all those living here,

And we are the intruders.

We come each day, and at night we stay

On sufferance just to help,

Just to do our work.

Remember this when you are here.

Your sheets are of no importance.

None at all.

In this age of targets and objectives,

And productivity,

Our work is not to gain results.

Forget about the winning of awards

And league tables.

Our effort is our reward,

A smile for Sra Juana here,

A chat with Sra Maria over there,

Long after our shift is done.

Forget the sheets.

Just leave them on that chair,

And walk with Sr Pedro slowly round the room,

And then sit with him over there.

He has time for us,

He has all the time in the world.

So, Dolores, make sure that you,

In all your bustle to and fro,

Make a little time for him,

And make sure you leave him happy

When you go.’