WOMAN IN A NURSING HOME

by on February 6, 2023 :: 0 comments

The skin on the backs of her hands
Looks like lady slipper petals
Translucent
Tiny-veined
So delicate
She scratches it incessantly
Buckled into a wheelchair
By the elevator door
In front of the nurses’ station
Which is where the staff
Park the patients who don’t get visitors
Threadbare pate pitched forward
Stained hospital gown doing its job half-heartedly
Covering body parts
That are faded memories
Of what they once were
Seemingly asleep
Until the elevator doors
Whisper their announcement
Of someone’s arrival
Then, only then
Does she become animated
Her head lifts
Her smile is almost rictal
“Hi hi hi hi hi!”
She sing-songs
“See me!”
Her unspoken plea
I bend down
And carefully embrace her
Telling her she looks pretty today
Her fingers catch in my hair
Her skin smells like
Chicken grease
Rheumy eyes lock on mine
“Bless you bless you bless you!”
She warbles
It feels like a long time passes
Before we release each other
I think she just might be
The most perfect human being
I’ve ever met

– Lorri Ventura

editors note:

They scare us because they might be us one day. – mh clay

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