Facility

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They say, put him in memory care.

You need to, they say, it’s too hard.

You have no freedom.  We see your misery.

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Someone recommends a place.

Her friend’s sister is a resident there.

I make an appointment for a tour.

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A long driveway, wide trim lawn, a pond.

a ten-gallon fish tank burbles in the lobby.

The walls need paint.

Brown streaks the bathroom door.

A peek into a private room:

all roses and chintz and lace curtains.

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An Asian man sits alone in the dining room,

behind a transparent plastic screen.

His expression is blank, distant.

Two men slump in the TV room.

Two women play Scrabble.

*

A walnut-faced Italian woman in a wheelchair,

fingers like roots, complains,

I didn’t have my breakfast!

A bit of egg sticks to her pants.

She says, I wish I were dead.

Where do I go now?

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The walls leak loneliness.

They are all waiting.

Will someone who loves me come?

Does anyone know me now?

Who remembers my story?

Will tomorrow be the same as today?

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Loneliness Caught Me

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Loneliness caught me in the corridor.

My dearest Friend was gone.

Would my colleague,

walking close behind me,

notice my tears?

Would she say a kind word?

Console me?

I was alone in this building,

I was alone everywhere

now that my friend was gone.

Sorrow so great

I wept in my sleep.

The ache of loss

a sunken treasure

too deep to recover.

Where was the one

I longed for?

The depth of yearning

all out of proportion

to pining for a human soul.

Enfold me,

I beseeched,

let me dwell forever

in love your pure

heart.