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."

John Perrault is the author of Jefferson's Dream, The Ballad of the Declaration of Independence (Hobblebush Books, 2009); The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse (Peter Randall Publisher, 2003); and Here Comes the Old Man Now (Oyster River Press, 2005).  He was a co-recipient of the Rosalie Boyle/Norma Farber Award, 2008, from the New England Poetry Club; a finalist in the 2007 Comstock Review Poetry Contest; and a past recipient of the Virginia Prize from The Lyric Magazine.  His poetry has appeared in the Salmon Poetry anthology, Dogs Singing, The Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Poet Lore and elsewhere.  A New Hampshire attorney, John was poet laureate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 2003-2005.   Sample his poems and songs at



Current Issue
Contributors' Notes

Email this poem Printer friendly page

A CLOSER LOOK: Martin Galvin

Jenn Blair

Kim Bridgford

Lara Candland

Gayle Reed Carroll

Grace Cavalieri

Catherine Chandler

Jen Coleman

Barbara Westwood Diehl

Jean Free

Monique Gagnon German

Kirsten Hampton

Maryanne Hannan

Adam Hanover

John Harn

Gretchen Hodgin

Deborah Howard

Charles Hughes

Jacqueline Jules

Maham Khan

Remembering Ann Knox, some more

Len Krisak

Michael Lauchlan

Lyn Lifshin

Diane Lockward

Laura Manuelidis

David McAleavey

Amanda Jane McConnon

John McKernan

George Moore

Jean Nordhaus on Moshe Dor and Barbara Goldberg

Andrea O'Brien

Andrew Oerke

Anthony Opal

Laura Orem on Michele Wolf

Barbara Orton

William Page

Beth Paulson

John Perrault

Dan Pettee

Oliver Rice

Elisavietta Ritchie

W.M. Rivera

James Robison

Hilary Sideris

Janice D. Soderling

Terence Winch

Rosemary Winslow

Kathi Wolfe

Katherine E. Young















Last Updated: Feb 22, 2020 - 12:30:13 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2020 Cook Communication.