Saturday, May 8, 2010


When Roguey Tom got sick,
came down to his last days,
his body no longer able to shoulder
the brunt of his alcoholism--
his girls took him in and nursed him
let him back like they did every time
he would reappear on a greyhound 
sock-less and pifficated.

When Papa's stroke robbed him 
so violently of the ability to walk and talk
and eat, my mother would wake early
and stay late each of those four years
filling feeding tubes and
changing diapers, wiping the crust
from the roof of his mouth 
with a warm wash rag

and I am your daughter
even though we barely speak
and when you are dying
I will be the first there. 

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