There is a long and pleasant corridor, in the finest Nursing Home I have seen, protected by a coded locking door.
On either side, life’s hectic or serene in waves drifting on flower scented air and past dominates any future scene.
Residents on either side just don’t care for tomorrow’s dreams beyond today’s “now.” They’ve passed by our kinds of hope and despair.
Each set of them has the same wrinkled brow and body. Neither appears out of place. But on the closed side, minds’ memes disallow
the door’s magic number or proper trace, along with which of life’s forgotten names they may properly attach to my face.
Truth; for him I’ll see, and her in the frames of the opened door, standing by herself, waiting to slip by, in search of old flames.
“Can you help me? I cannot find him, Ralph. Your father must be just down that long hall. He could never leave me here by myself.”
I am not Ralph, the son in her recall. So I walk her back to her room and bed. Vacant eyes tell the story . . . almost all.
The nurse later tells me that both are dead. She told her they just stepped away a while, “She is smiling now, deep asleep, in bed.”
Tim Pfau reads and writes poetry. "Fragments" is from Ambulance Suite.