Joe

My grandmother passed away in December. I wrote this poem about a year or so ago and just found it. It’s not my best poem, but reading it brought back a lot of emotions for me, so I figured I’d share it.

 

Joe

When the girls wheel her out to breakfast,
She still remembers his name.
He’s Joe, but which Joe is he?
Big Joe—her Joe—or little Joe? Some other woman’s Joe?
They used to eat toast, she remembered.
With jam and butter and he’d beg her to eat a slice
As she fussed over him, over everything.

As toast crumbs fall onto her lap, so do her tears.
Why is everyone so loud?
Who’s Joe?
She flings her orange juice at the man in the wheelchair across from her.
“Bastard!” she screams. He looks down at his hands.
Why does everyone keep saying Joe?
Is she supposed to know that name?

The girls come and they stroke her hair
And sing her songs and she relaxes.
The man is still there and for a second she knows
He loves her.
She does not know why.

“Ready to go, Joe?”
The man nods and one of the girls wheel him away.
She hears him say “70 good years together, what’s a few rough ones?”
And she wonders what he means and who he is.
He has a kind smile and he reminds her of someone.
She does not remember who.

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