Sunday, September 13, 2009

Faux Family

A tattoo on his forearm.
I've-see-it-all expression on his face.
He sat on the edge of a flower-print couch,
across from a table with knick-knacks.
He’s only 61, but it's been years
since he was able to live by himself.
Estranged from his family
and suffering the psychological symptoms of war
the only place for him,
has been in nursing homes.
It's an arrangement that's part business,
part friendship.
The grizzled vet joined
the old woman for dinner --
the first family Thanksgiving
since his mother died,
more than a decade ago.
He finished his soup and reached
to gather his plate.
Don't you dare...
She was not done
He knew that he had to sit
with her until she was done.
He blushed, slightly, and sat down.
"Yes, ma'am,"
The relationship doesn’t look businesslike.
It looks like family.

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