a mother waits to hear him say her name,
his father, to play ball.
the child breaks silence only with his piercing cry,
tosses his food, his fists.
the daily fare of parents of autistic children.
down the street, around the corner,
potted flowers adorn window boxes.
behind closed shutters,
a neighbor/friend (not old)
decides it’s time to let death visit.
a phone call later—cancelled chemo—
he makes his peace and dies.
outside, sun plays with clouds in azure skies.
inside the empty chapel, darkness fills the stagnant space.
an ancient monk buries his head in his hands,
waits for the shroud of doubt to dissipate.
dementia creeps through tangled plaques in her brain.
with trembling fingers she punches in numbers,
asks her daughter to come in a hurry
before it’s too late to make her wishes known.
fingering bruises on her face,
the woman ventures out beyond the confines
of the world she knows.
$35.00 and change,
a scrappy paper bag of clothes,
a 3-year-old child in her arms,
she sets out hoping that there’s room for her,
the address of the shelter jotted
on a crumpled envelope
in her pockt—
the pocket of her husband’s red flannel shirt.
she hates her tattoo.
she hates her body.
sometimes she hates her life.
she longs to be accepted,
she walks away from those kids
when they offer her the drugs.
Offered for the Hero Prompt at dVerse Meeting the Bar. Join us soon…there’s still a bit of time left.
Photo: Creative Commons License