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The cold feel of the nursing home rooms.
The old smell of bananas that were bruised easily
On the inside.
You never got along with the old lady.
You accused Mrs. Janice of stealing
Your flannel robes and fluffy blue slippers,
But you stole her stuffed unicorn
And spilled coffee all over it.
When I visit, you don't know who I am,
yet you can't let go.
I still remember the goat
out back behind the white tattered old house
that we blamed for everything
He and Grandaddy were so much alike.
You cooked once a day, and made Grandaddy eat rotten food
Because of your carelessness.
When he died is when you realized you cared.
You picked the weeds and mowed the grass on his grave.
And afterwards when we had lunch on his tombstone,
You never forgot to pour him some water.
You bought me my first pair of plastic yellow, blue,
And pink heels,
The very same day you also ran that stop sign,
And tried to take my life.
Now I sit here thinking about how things used to be,
And remembering you lying in that nursing home bed
So helpless and all that you could mumble were those
Three little words that seemed to mend everything.
"I love you," you said, which confused me
Because it's so hard to believe.
by Stephanie A., Houston, TX