the old man

I saw him a few times in his last years

the two he spent living in hospitals

when his second wife my stepmother

would not let him return home

I lived on the opposite coast then

had done since I left home at fifteen

but I’d arrange my work to go see him

I found him one time fully dressed

sat in the chair beside his hospital bed

they tell me I’m depressed

he said in his usual quiet way

been like it for years they tell me

they’ve put me on these pills to help

but I don’t feel different in any way

which was quite some speech for him

& what to say?

his wife would not let him come home

she had reasons could not lift him if he fell

could not do care was not made that way

& with her bingo trips lunches with the ladies

made her visits to see him short & brief

I guess you got reasons I murmured

thinking on that & my mother his first wife

run off left him broke with two kids to feed

& what would they be? he asked all quiet

as we both dropped into silence for a while

One thought on “the old man

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