My aunt. The young one.
Stylish, with it, uncompromising about her home.
Tonight the silver and Franciscan tableware,
the paintings, grand piano, the tiger maple secretary
keep each other company while I state her name
at this center for intermediate care.
A state-of-the-art equipment room dominates the building’s front:
soaring ceiling, panoramic views,
cascading water sounds against marble walls.
I pass through unfamiliar families in the visiting area–
a gowned woman sits in straight-back chair.
I step over the uneven ring of a carpet stain in the hall
and knock at 202 (where my aunt’s name
has been correctly lettered with double “r”).
Her voice comes through the door, the first
it has noticeably aged in almost ninety years–and weak.
I am not prepared for how small she is.
I try to make her bigger in my mind–
fuller through her cheeks and brow–
and remember how vigilantly she stayed brunette.
I find her eyes.
We converse an hour before she reminds me
how handsome I was with shorter hair.
I guess we are even now.
Manners/Nurture demand she share a snack that arrives
and we would have at the end of one of those drives
to an antique store or to gather dried milkweed
or the longer ones to the coast with others
(her peers among us then have died)
but a half-serving pack of Yoplait
hardly holds enough for her to last the night.
She relents to take it all from the white plastic spoon
I somewhat reluctantly control.
Find what’s yours . . . truly, danscir52
copyright 2014 Dan Christensen all rights reserved