Sunday, August 19, 2018

Rhubarb at 8:00 PM

Dim twilight 

Only three residents still

One woman in a wheelchair
Eyes look in different directions
A struggle to see me
I am not hers

Another woman on the leak-proof vinyl couch
Eyes peer through round wire glasses
And past me
I am not hers

And one man wheeled up close to the round dining table
His seatbelt fastened
His fall alarm clipped to his red Terry Fox t-shirt
A survivor

I am his youngest daughter.

A Steve Martin movie plays
As the nurses complete their charts

His eyes jump as I touch his shoulder
What are you doing here?
Did you get the car fixed?

Yes Dad
My usual answer 
And I brought you some rhubarb cake
For a bedtime snack

He grabs the spoon in his fist
Shakes the cake to his mouth

I would like another piece for breakfast
With a nice glass of coffee.

Okay Dad.

He doesn’t remember that The Jerk was his favourite movie
But he knows that rhubarb grew in the garden at his childhood home.

And that I am his youngest daughter.


Conni Cartlidge 
June 10, 2018

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