Tea Or Coffee?

Here is a poem I have written for national poetry day, with the theme of choice. I work in a day centre for adults with learning disabilities and most of our service users have no or very little verbal communication so is a challenge for them to make a choice. Even just choosing between a cup of tea and cup of coffee. I've written it as if I am a service user wanting to make a choice.

Tea Or Coffee?
A poem about Choice
written by Mark Coley

I see a man in front of me,
He has two drinks,
One coffee, one tea,
I don't have a voice,
So he chooses for me,
I really want coffee,
But he brings me tea.
He's really not looking,
Not looking at me.

I see the man again,
There in front of me,
With two drinks again,
One coffee, one tea,
I can't hold the cup,
So he brings it to me,
I hope it's strong coffee,
No it's cold weak tea,
He's still not looking,
Not looking at me,
And now he's spilled it,
All over my knee.

I look to my left,
Another person like me,
Is being offered a choice,
Coffee or tea,
That person can speak,
So he says carefully,
"Can I have some coffee?"
And he gets it you see,
It's really not fair,
No one's looking at me,
And I bet they don't spill it,
All over his knee.

It's dinnertime, now,
I'm not hungry you see,
But the man fills my plate,
With food I can't see,
He tries to feed me,
It's all over me,
All I want is a coffee,
But then he says, "Have some tea"
I wish I had a choice,
But he's not looking at me,
And then he spills it,
All over my knee.

Afternoon now,
And I need the toilet you see,
I try to communicate,
By moving my arms,
So he can see,
I'm so frustrated,
I really need to pee,
It's definitely not coffee,
It's all that weak tea,
I guess I'll have to wait,
Until he's ready for me.

Break time again,
Yes, it's that man that I see,
He doesn't even smile,
He looks bored as could be,
I don't need to look,
I've given up you see,
Come on give me my drink,
What a surprise, its weak tea,
He's definitely not looking,
Really looking at me,
I wish he would wipe it,
When he spills on my knee.

The next day was different,
A young lady I see,
She had two drinks,
One coffee, one tea,
She smiled and I saw,
She was really looking at me,
I waved towards the coffee,
And she said, oh I see,
And she gave me....
Coffee, and I smiled happily,
She was really looking,
Looking at me,
And if she spilled it,
she wiped it, so carefully.

Later on, oh no,
It was that bored man I see,
With two drinks in his hand,
One coffee, one tea,
He was just about,
To give me some of his tea,
When, A lady said,
"He prefers coffee, not tea,"
"Ok" said the man,
Who wasn't looking at me,
Then he gave me some coffee,
He spilled some on my knee,
"Here is a cloth"
Said the lady politely,
"To wipe the tea,"
She was looking out for me,
She was the one,
That always gave me dignity.

And although I'm greatful,
For coffee you see,
I would like some sugar,
So really look...yes really look..
Right at me.

And treat me with Dignity.

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