As I gaze at you
I can see that your
instrument is not what
it was when you used to pick
me up from preschool
nineteen years earlier
when I’d imagine myself in the Victorian houses,
And the stone fortresses that lined the roads.
You asked once, “could I live with you when you
move in?” I responded with the naiveté of a puppy dog:
“Of course not, you’ll be dead then” and I imagine we both
laughed like the little fairies in the story books that rested on my book selves.
Years have gone by and a malevolent disease is slowly
floating through the narrow channels of your bloodstream.
The skin that stretches across your bones is discolored
and nicked indicating a time where protection
from natural light sources was not affordable for
a poor Irish-American family.
A trickle of blood peeks out of your misshapen ear
and gently falls onto the rigid collar
of your freshly laundered shirt.
The harrowing look in your buoyant face shows that
You are skirting on the messy demise
That we once joked about during lighter times.
And I don’t live in the manor with the tall steeple roof
And the turquoise shutters
But if I did, I would change my answer
and we could play with a circus clown and
Myrtle McGurk and Raggedy Anne,
Untouched by the quandaries of the world