Sugarless Cookies

March 3, 2008
I remember your little apartment
and that yellow chair
with the hideous floral pattern.
You would be smiling,
and I would smile too.
And you would stand up,
slowly wheeling your walker ahead of you
as you progress to the tiny kitchen
with barely enough space
for the small round table in the corner.
You take down a small package
of those sugarless cookies
you like to eat
and offer one to me.
I force a smile
and take one.
I remember trying to sit quietly
while you talked to my mom—
about nothing really,
just enjoying your time together.
When it’s time to go, I give you a quick kiss on the cheek
and tell you how wonderful it was to see you.

That’s all different now.
Now I sit on the living room floor,
listening to Daddy tell me you’re gone.
Mom is crying,
but I refuse to believe it.

That empty apartment,
that empty heart, those empty eyes.
Now I wish I had gone to see you in the hospital
that one last time, instead of being afraid.
Now I would gladly take a sugarless cookie,
just for a chance to see you
one last time.

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