(Home care patients I’ve known.)

 

Mildred, 83 years old,

loner in dusty bungalow.

From her heart spewed nastiness: “I put my daughter-in-law’s picture in the shit house where she belongs!”

Each defecation renewed the enmity.

Twinkle Toes, her double-footed cat, kept her distance.

 

Ann, 84 years old,

born in the projects.

Years of scrubbing dulled yearnings.

The shock in the mirror: “My hair is white!”

Intruder-killer infected her lungs.

 

Sarah, 85 years old,

Scottish spinster in ground floor apartment.

Shock of white hair matched the wildness in her eyes.

Menial work around city neighborhoods toughened her feet.

Now, ulcerated, they restrict her movements from bed to commode to chair.

Friends still knock on her door.

 

Juanita, 74 years old,

matriarch in son’s bedroom, frozen in recesses of atrophied brain.

Swollen eyes resembled the sorrowing mother.

G-tube feedings ballooned her dark frame propped upon pillows.

Her extended family watched television.

 

Marie, 77 years old,

chameleon in duplex.

Spent, she had lived within the will of her mate.

Like a flitting moth, she sought rest, but there was none.

Catalepsy crippled her body-soul, listing to the right.

 

Vivian, 61 years old,

victim in handicapped apartment.

Mousy hair pulled from temples spooked hooded eyes.

Safety-pinned sweaters warmed her stone-heart.

Soul illness infected her joints, precipitated seizures.

She sat in her chair.

 

Mildred-Ann-Sarah-Juanita-Marie-Vivian limped through end time, the dross of their spent lives purified within God’s emptiness, encircling them with blessing.

 

 

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