Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The White Koi - A Poem Memoir in Free Verse


The White Koi 2007 

One of the koi 
Has all-white scales.
“He’s an albino,” an old woman says. 
She sits in a wheelchair 
Having found her way to the pond
On her own. 

“I think it’s just a white variety,” I say.
“The eyes are not pink.” 
Why does it matter? 
Why do I need to correct this 
Old woman I don’t know? 

She’s here just like I am 
Escaping the nursing home’s confines 
Where antiseptic smells
Fail to mask underlying odors. 
Defecation and death. 

Escaping the boredom 
And the waiting 
For one or the other
To catch up. 

I’ve brought my mother 
Pushed her wheelchair. 
Alone, she would not find the will or the way. 
She is indifferent to the 
Fresh air, sunlight, the koi pond. 

We might as well be in the place’s 
Unused Library, the shelves 
Lined with Reader’s Digest Condensed Books
Donated and warehoused because 
They don’t have further value. 

My mother’s decline was signaled by
Repeated questions 
And lost emotions. 
She showed no reaction 
At the news my father would die. 

Showed no interest In being by his side, 
Her husband of 49 years.
As he slipped away. 

Her memory has been edited. 

I have no patience
With falsity. 
Not a good trait 
For this current role. 

Still, I correct genetic misinformation 
About the white koi. 
It’s not deficiency
But editing, called breeding. 

And tell my mother 
Her mother is not forgotten
Waiting in a hot car. 
She’s gone.
We remain. 

And I correct, though I can’t put back. 
I strive to make here 
More than a warehouse
At least.

For a person. 
If not for abandoned books. 
And a koi that the service 
Couldn’t place in ponds
Of more vocal customers 
In search of vibrant joy.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...