She can’t remember what she had for lunch--
or for that matter, if she went to eat.
In the drawer of her nightstand are pastries she hoards,
brought back from the dining room and then forgotten.
Growing moulds, blue and green and black.
She can’t follow the numbers of the Bingo game,
can’t name “that man I was married to”
for sixty years. He died.
She who was so quick, so sure,
taking all in with her snapping dark eyes,
back when her hands and her mind
stayed busy knitting, knitting.
Now she refuses to leave the nursing home.
When her sons try to take her out,
she cries to retreat.
All those children clustering around
who call her by name.
To whom do they belong?
She’d rather sit in her room.
Where, for hours, she stares at the birds
that flock to the feeder her son
mounted outside the glass.
Twittering, chirping, jostling, landing, leaving--
like ideas swarming freely around seeds
an invisible hand replenishes each morning.
© Tony Russell, 2011
|Birds in hiding; photo by Tony Russell|