When Kristina, who has decided
my husband is Greek, because
his last name is the same as
her first name (though spelled
differently), finishes washing
his wasted body, she moves
him, with a second aide’s help,
into his wheelchair, then pushes
him out into the lounge, where
he sits, confused among others
equally confused. “I hope I don’t
have to speak at this event,” he
whispers to her, and she laughs.
She brings him lunch: pureed
carrots, mashed potatoes, several
thickened drinks. “You gotta eat to
get healthy, and make sure you drink
that pink one,” she insists. But when
she comes back to check, it’s still
brim full. "You gotta drink," she
scolds, but he whispers that he's
had enough alcohol and has to
drive all day tomorrow.
She pats him on his boney shoulder,
says: “Sweetheart, I don’t want you
to go back to bed,” when he asks to,
“I’m afraid you’ll fall out.” Which he does,
later, after the shift change.
Martha Christina is a frequent contributor to Brevities. Longer work appears in Innisfree Poetry Journal, Naugatuck River Review, earlier postings of Red Eft Review, and most recently in the anthology Ice Cream Poems from World Enough Writers. She has published two collections: Staying Found (Fleur-de-lis Press) and Against Detachment (Pecan Grove Press).