Sunday, July 23, 2006

Don't Cast A Kitten (for the challenge..comment/suggestions welcome)

This New Years Eve,
like every New Years before,
body bent like a sleet-hit
tree limb, false teeth clinging
hopefully to his shrinking gums,
Joe Brooks sneaks out
of the nursing home to the corner pub.

Blue Suit.
Red Tie.
In need of some nookie,
he says, if asked.

What's eating you? he yells
to his half-deaf, half-dead
roomie, who turns up Friends
to the volume of a Dead
concert in reply.

The nurses toss back their hair,
giggling. Even Ms Sanders at age
sixty-two feels like a girl
next to Sam, a hundred and one,
now, if a day.

No need to stop him, one titters.
He always comes back,
begging for the hair of the dog,
next morning.

Back to his mind-numbing roll-up
bed, ten pills a day routine,
tellie blending day into night.
No wonder he needs to remember
when he was a stud, a looker,
he thinks when he hears them joke.

Really got zozzled on that giggle water
this time, he brags to the red-head
when she brings his morning pills,
her head too filled with Johnny Depp
to hear him. Don't take any wooden nickels,
he flirts, his once strong baritone voice
aliened into an old man's wheezing whisper.

They laugh again at days end report
at how he tells them he'll hire torpedos
to protect them or admonishes them
not to iron their stockings too many times
when the supervisor's around.
They wonder if he really can get it up
or if anybody will still have him,
cash roll regardless.

Well, I've got to see a man about a dog,
one says, finally, and they walk out
into the cold Boston night, shivering,
futures still writ in the stars above them.
They chatter about hair styles and nail polish,
swing their hips confidently,
never imagining their own teeth
in a glass or that they will one day
become an anachronism, too.

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