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Cecilia's Better Living

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    Cecilia's Better Living

    Kevin E. Casey


    Cecilia leans forward in her wheelchair,

    watches incandescent images form, fade and dissolve

    on the big screen in the old folks home.

    A tear, clinging to the curvature of her bifocals, glistens

    during a commercial and falls to the tune Cecilia hums

    when the volume's muted and her wire-thin frame of bones

    wrinkles with laughter, as if the life insurance ad held

    some kind of bawdy comedy we could not see.

    We wheel Cecilia to the beach, thinking

    the sea-foam may, like a detergent or a bleach, restore

    the whiteness of her memories, better living in happy days,

    when Rita Hayworth and James Dean graced the screen,

    when Laugh-In's laughtrack transfixed us upon our sofas,

    leaning forward in shade-drawn living rooms as the ghost

    grey figures fade down the telescoping tube of time.

    Cecilia, the cold water washes pebbles

    from your shrunken toes. The sun

    is setting, big and glorious and red,

    and we think, Cecilia, not much skin

    clings to your bones, not much at all,

    but, perhaps, enough.


    This poem is one of many published by the EServer, a nonprofit collective.