Dr. Jerald Winakur

ETHICAL CAREGIVING IN AGING AMERICA

Poetry

See Dr. Winakur’s Human Voices Wake Us click here


Sherbet

A few weeks after her discharge
after the legions of modern miracles
met her dauntless infirmity
I finally retreated.

She waits now
in this way station
where I come
no longer in white.

a shadow
staring out the window
the tray of clotted
food nearby

And she is weary
and I ask how she feels
but she does not answer.
The raspberry sherbet is melting

yet it is my only ammunition
a plastic spoon my only weapon
and I bring it to her parched lips
and she eats for me.

I say isn’t the sky so blue
today the clouds so white
spring is near I say
all the time feeding her

urging her to take every drop.
But I am not used
to this work and a dollop
drops on her gown

and red spreads across her chest.
I swipe it away with my hand.
I’m sorry I say
I’m so sorry.

 

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