The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by John Perrault

Assisted Living

Time is honey dripping off a crust of bread,
Gumming up the works, slowing down the chew,
Sweetening the sour cream-white-coated tongue
That licks his fingers.  He wipes them on the spread.
She folds it over.  He smiles.  She smiles too.                                                        
Come on, let's get you up for a good long
Look at the day.  She pulls the blinds.  The bed
Floods with a blinding light.  His lips are blue.

A morning in March, snow melt, sunshine strong
Enough to lift him.  He's nodding his head—
He approves.  She undoes his bib.  Now who
Wants to swallow his pill?  Who indeed? Young                                                   
As she is, she feels in her bones how the old
Hold onto life.  He's taken her hand:  "My girl."

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