Do you remember,
soon after Grandma turned ninety,
you and Uncle Roger put her in a nursing home?
The year before her vision began to blur.
You took away her driver’s license and National Geographics—
plunked her in front of TV. She thought the gal in the soap opera,
the one with silver hair, was having an affair with Granddaddy
who’d been dead sixteen years already.
Every Saturday, about 5 PM, while I fed your dog,
I heard you phone Aunt Tillie in the Bronx
and tell her Grandma wouldn’t eat, but at least she didn’t have a bedsore.
It was when she forgot your name that you stopped your weekly visits.
That was the week before you took some of her money
and left the country on a cruise to the Galapagos.
You said to pray she wouldn’t die till you got back.
When you did drop by, you’d syringe some food into her droopy mouth,
watch her spit it out then choke back your own breakfast.
After you left the facility, you’d hurry home,
change your clothes and go golfing.
Afterward, would you stop off to have a drink
and spend some time nursing guilt?
How often did you awaken during the night and wonder when?
Do you remember?
Based on my memories of nursing in Long Term Care—sadly.
Written for dVerse Meeting the Bar where I’m pleased to be hosting dialogue poetry. This has been a crazy week for me, so I’d also like to give a nod to the prompt on Tuesday–about forgetting. Please stop by with a poem that includes dialogue between people. The listener may be implied, as I’ve chosen to do. More info over at the pub!
On the 12th, 13th and 14th, my novel, “The Sin of His Father,” will be offered as a Kindle Give Away. I would be grateful if you will support me in getting out the message of forgiveness–the underlying theme of this story.