Bio Note: I hail from New Jersey, although I've now been a California for half of my life. I was so homesick when I moved across country until I discovered Donna Hilbert's poetry workshop. Once I joined, about thirty years ago and got acquainted with poetry, I never left. It has been a rewarding experience. I write poetry and novels.
Some of the residents sit outside in their wheelchairs in the hot, humid air with no breeze. He prefers watching old movies on a TV that his social worker gave him because she knows he needs a diversion. He has three roommates who don’t communicate. They’re burned out and have lost their minds. An old man across the hall shouts over and over, “Help me. Be a sport, help me.” The doctors say my brother doesn’t belong in this place, although he is ill with HIV and has to live on the county. I’m miles away in California It’s been six years since I’ve seen him. His eyes are dark; his body is thin. He doesn’t mention that his T cells are changing. I show him family photos and he laughs out loud at one black and white 8 x 10 of my mom and her two friends, waitresses, working the night shift in the fifties at Howard Johnson’s. He says, “They could’ve been a sitcom like Alice on TV.” It hurts to leave him behind But, he smiles, holds me tight, and says, “Hey, thanks for stopping by.”
©2020 Barbara Eknoian
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