At the Nursing Home

Paris Two 2010 055As I walk in,

a woman straightens the chair on the patio outside her room.

Her Easter lily, parched, sits untended, one bloom left.

As I pass she says, I’m nuts, and blows me kisses,

her fingers touching her lips and the empty space between us.


One aide plays “string the pearls” with five women,

then plays “follow the leader”

and leads them off for rest time.

Each woman has a place at the table

and a room of her own.


In one room, ceramic dolls

in elegant kimonos bow

in a silent dance.


Into Louise’s room walks a stranger

saying, where’s my false teeth,

sure she left them here.


The rhodies by Louise’s window

at the peak of their exuberance

bloom red and sturdy, as if

they will never droop

or leave the walkway carpeted with softness.


An aide comes to her room,

hands white with rubber gloves.

She puts her arm around Louise,

turns her away from me, and chats about the weather

as I slip away.


I was never there.



About trillium24

“Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand ... " Pablo Picasso
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