forrest, from your (favorite) progeny

when you come through the garage door

I’ll meet you with black coffee

it’s a different mug every time, 

mismatched in the cabinet

you know your way around the kitchen

around the house, and let me get Mom

sit and stay a while

so I can tell you all about

my patient with the orthopedic fixator

the metallic spider legs welded into her flesh

brooding over her ankle, possessive, oppressive

and you’ll exclaim Ho! That must be painful!

sipping from the mug that reads

We’re going to be really cool old people

which I selected on purpose

hoping to make you smile

you’re bored & lonely, I know I know

when I fled the city,

I thought about being your housemate

I’d put my red veil-tale on the coffee table

the way grandma used to, when I was little

next time I’m in Pine Grove

we’ll grab breakfast at the Sparrow

and I’ll complain about working nights

out of a transit ambulance

feeling so claustrophobic in an old tin can

I might just slash the tires to put it out of service

complaining, my mother always says, 

is what makes us perfect companions

(and that we drink coffee black)

but you don’t have many opinions lately

your wife doesn’t remember your name

to be honest, you haven’t spoken hers 

since she moved from your house

to the assisted living facility

I don’t know what to tell you, then

except memories matter

even if she’s losing hers

and saying her name is a healing process

even if she no longer recognizes yours


when you come through the garage door

I’ll meet you with a fresh brew, 

steaming between my hands, 98 degrees

just for you

I’ll say black coffee cures apathy

storytelling heals heartache

and this time, your mugs reads

Beautiful girl, you can do anything

so won’t you please smile now?

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