Her doorstop hangs from one bolt,
no longer two,
attached through an ever expanding hole,
still not ready to let go.
Four mismatched chairs of varying height
circle her seventy-five-year-old dining table,
a wedding present,
still offering a venue for meals.
Her junk mail pushed aside
making room for two vinyl placemats
frayed at the edges,
still protecting the thinning finish below.
The worn seam on her sofa
sags where well-wishers
have relieved their weight.
Still, more are welcome,
coming with flowers and gifts.
A darkened track on her carpet
leads to her bedroom
where she lies eighteen hours a day
in a rented metal bed
with adjustable height and tilt
its removable sides offering needless safety
as she occupies only space in the middle.
Her aging back is flat down
just where a caregiver put her,
as the cobwebs of sleep embrace her.
Later she wakens,
less left of her than yesterday.
No words fill her mouth,
The routine unfolds.
Comb her hair.
Take her vitals.
Pattern is paramount
though I weep for its ways.
First published in Avatar Review August 2019