Maclovia

Location

Author's note: While Power Poetry covers a multitude of causes, I've noticed that there are two in particular that are largely avoided--elder care and death. I am an aide in a skilling nursing facility, and care toward the end of life is something I wish to specialize in as a working adult. The rights and emotional needs of the elderly are largely ignored in today's society, and I hope that comes to change in the near future. This particular poem revolves around my heartbreaking experiences at the beck and call of the aging.

()()()

Look

North, Maclovia.

That's where you are today.

Not

to the South. 

That's where I'll be today.

 

Pager

On my waist.

The sound drills my skull.

Silence

Is empty.

Just like my friend's bed.

 

I

have heard

He fell today and broke himself.

I

Was not there for him.

Maclovia, I am guilty.

 

It

Was not your shift.

I hear you, but not my own ears.

It

Was not my fault, but he 

Cannot stop falling.

 

I'll

push your chair down to

the aviary, so you can watch the birds.

I'll

sit with you when I have

time between naps and showers.

 

Smile

at me, Maclovia.

Your dark skin is calloused and warm.

My

hands are so cold, honey. I know.

So are mine this afternoon.

 

It's

time for dinner. Where is he?

He fell again this morning.

I

know. My hands are shaking

My hands are cold again.

 

Please

Maclovia, come down to supper.

I'm not hungry. Yes, you are.

I

worry about you sometimes.

Please. I'm already so scared.

 

He.

My friend already fell today.

Please don't fall as well.

I

won't, honey, I promise I'll

stay safe. Please, Maclovia.

 

I

must head South again.

Back to the empty room.

My

pager sobs for my attention.

My job is to never get away.

 

Will

you be down for dinner, Maclovia?

Yes, I suppose I'll go. But 

only

if you'll be there again. Oh, Maclovia.

I always am, though my scrubs are frayed.

 

She

goes back to watching the birds,

oxygen hissing, almost empty.

Do

you need a new tank, Maclovia?

Maybe later. You're not on North.

 

True.

And to South I must go again.

But I want you to be safe.

I

am always safe when you are here.

Maclovia, smile for me, please.

 

She

does. My friend melts away.

I am here only with the birds

Chirping

and my pager whimpering.

She smiles, and it is brilliant.

 

He

will be all right, I'm certain.

We are old, but sturdy, honey.

I

can only hope that for once

Maclovia is right. Please, be right.

 

You

will always be watching the birds,

won't you, Maclovia? Say yes.

At

Least until I die, she laughs.

Please, Maclovia, don't say that.

 

Then

She is silent, staring at the

Rainbow flurry of wings, and at

once

I know what she is thinking.

Someday, she will be my friend.

 

Constantly

Forever

Falling

until there is nothing left.

 

At

least until I die.

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