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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.


Someone recommends a place.

Her friend’s sister is a resident there.

I make an appointment for a tour.


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.


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?


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?


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