Old Woman to Her Lilac

by Sara Blaisdell


It finally happened when I keeled over in the tub,
Embarrassed enough to be half bling and ugly naked,
But I couldn’t even grip the handhold.
Meals on Wheels called for back-up
When I failed to come sprinting for my Jell-O and mashed chicken,

They stuck me in here.
It’s useless to say. I’m sorry I kept you out back
Without borrowing boughs to purple the kitchen.
You’re so full of perfume I gag.
But it’s not you. It’s not you.

They started coming: The parades with banners and pamphlets.
First, Wiona-Ann, grinning in her Catholic way, trying to sell me
To some place where there’s Cable and choir kids often visit,
Help you knit and such. The minister came,
Said his father was just put in a Home and absolutely loved it.

Even Sara, the girl who used to water you weekly,
Called from school to breathe it silently.
She’s grown, I suppose, and who wants to sit in that house with just me,
A splotched balloon, to place my thinning hair in curlers
And mop up spilled Tang and Metamucil? I don’t care what they do

With my collection of reindeer, the John Wayne cut-out, even the
elephants

It’s you I worry for.
They can’t transplant you, and they’d kill you if they tried.
You’re all that’s left of us
Of what’s fierce and beautiful and smells of life.