Thursday, December 18, 2008


After dinner I took Mrs. Cunningham

to her room to put her to bed.
First I had to remove the chunks of food
from her fists.
“Let me take this away Mrs. C.
We don’t want you to sleep with crumbs.”
And Mrs. C. with a sly smile on her 100
year old mouth says,
“I hadn’t planned on it.
I’ll be sleeping alone, thank you.”

Mrs. Hijar suddenly said in English

“I am God.”
“You are God?”
“No,” she answered,
“My daddy is God.”
“Oh, that’s good. I would not
know what to say if I was in
the room with God.
And Mrs. Trigg her roommate
added, “Me neither. God dam,
that was a close call.”

Mrs. Martin is back

from the hospital,
3rd time in 3 months.
This time the anesthetic
has demented her.
She had a phone dangling
from her bed.
She wanted to speak to Robert Lee.
The address book was on her night stand.
I looked for “Lee.” No Lee.
“Sorry, I don’t see Robert Lee.’
“Robert E. lee,” she said.


in a quiet monotone
sounds like this to me:
“Um uh uh um mmm bano.”
So, I’ll take you to the bathroom.
in a shrill excited tone
sounds like this to me:
“Caw me caw yap yo caw bano.”
So, I’ll take you to the bathroom.

I have always suspected

that CNA’s
recorded meal intakes
without even looking at the plates.
Residents who barely eat anything
at dinner are charted
as eating 100 percent
at breakfast and lunch.
“Oh they eat better in the morning.”
Hummm, okay, maybe.
But tonight I noticed on the intake sheet
that Mrs. Lambert, who died three days ago,
ate all of her food today.

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