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Julie in the Nursing HOme

A drunkard hit her before he crashed.
She lay thirty minutes on blood-soaked dirt.
He staggered away; wasn't hurt.
Her lovely neck was broken; her brain-case smashed.

red lights, white coats, time blurred into a crawl; 
Now she sits perfectly still, her bright, blue eyes so glazed
in unblinking endless stare, in an endless daze
at pictures pasted on her nursing-home wall

Painted by once-young schoolmates hands
"we love you!"   "get well soon..."
"This is us on the playground", a smiley face on a big red balloon
"We're waiting for you"  "Your friend always, Jan"

Bright colors, stick-figure play-scenes painted with vigor and feeling in an early grade.

Each day she sits and watches them fade.

	Julie turned 13 today.

the colors have lost their bright hues, the drawing paper, once white, the sun has made tan,
the cellophane tape is yellowed, the edges have curled
and classmates have gotten on with their lives in the world.

She must have a brace to hold up her head.
The nurses aides whisper "she's better off dead"
All day she sits strapped in a chair by her bed.

the pictures stopped coming, children forget.
 sometimes her eyes grow wet.

The aides wipe them roughly talking about last night's date or tomorrow's homecoming parade

Julie just stares at her pictures and watches them fade.


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