She Never Met A Stranger
I hated it at times, it could be so annoying.
It meant we were always waiting dinners
and you hoped when you were out she wouldn’t
see anyone she knew because that was sure to add another
half hour or so to the outing. It meant every where she went she was l a t e.
More than once I had called the hospital worried she had a wreck
However, it also meant that there was always a smile,
a kind word and encouragement ready at all times.
She could be loud and boisterous and enthusiastic about life...she loved people.
It’s different now. I see her in the lobby and go to sit by her,
her head is down, propped by her hand. I sit beside her, nothing.
I rub her back, nothing; I talk to her, nothing.
I jostle harder, talk louder and she comes to life.
Life, do you still call it life when it has evaporated,
slowly faded away into the bare minimum of existence
She used to babble a nonsensical jargon that she herself could not reason.
You had to train yourself not to look away while she was talking because
whether anyone understood the gibberish of irrational thought
that somewhere connected to voice she did understand rudeness
and impatience and you could read the sting in her eyes.
I want words so badly now. Questions that beg answers,
words so scarcely uttered.
Nursery rhymes started by me that she may join in,
mostly wrong words but the rhythm still there.
She loved to have her hair combed so I do it now
but it brings no response of comfort or liking.
I bring something she enjoys eating but she does not reach for it.
I touch it to her hand but she does not grasp.
I put it to her lips and soon she opens and eats.
Does she know what it is? Does it taste good to her.
I cannot read the expression but she will eat if I feed them to her.
I start putting them to her fingers and she eats
Time goes on. When do you leave?
Nothing really changes from beginning to end.
Do you watch the clock and leave after the time allotted.
I don’t know. I still have this need to fix it.
She’s my sister, she’s too young, make it stop, give her back.
I leave her with her strangers as I’ve now become.
She’s always with strangers
Copyright © Laurie Ginn