Poetry

A Cloudy Day at Colonial Manor by David Estringel

More and more, things slip away…daily.

Names of people, places, things. Where I am.

Where I will be. I am afraid it isn’t always clear.

I ask the girl who comes in my room

most mornings; she just shrugs her shoulders, floating

around the room in a cloud of ammonia and pine,

scowling at the candy bar wrappers and 

cookie crumbs that always 

seem to pepper the sheets and the floor by my bed.

She is nice enough, but I don’t know who keeps letting her 

in the house. Or where Henry is and why he doesn’t 

come home at nights anymore. She’s pretty enough; 

he likes pretty girls. I think about her sitting in my chair 

at the dining room table and I hate her. All I can do 

is think, though. I haven’t left this room in months, 

it seems. 

 

They’re talking about her again—the voices

outside the door. “She fell again last night.” 

“Again? Are we gonna have to tie her down?”

Someone laughs. Who the hell is Henry letting in here?

 

One of the maids came in to give me my pills. I think 

she is from Mexico. She said it was four o’clock in 

the afternoon. Isn’t it night? I hope Henry isn’t paying

her too much. For what? Lying to me and sitting in my

chair all day?

 

That tall man, who stops by from time to time, is back; he brings me

fried chicken strips and apple pie from Whataburger. I like it

when he comes, since all those damn maids cook for me 

is eggs. He says that isn’t true, though. “Last time

I was here you had Salisbury steak for dinner. You must have

forgotten. Happens to all of us.” He is nice, but he gets upset

with me a lot. “You fell, again? You know you aren’t supposed 

to get out of bed by yourself.” Before I can respond, he slips in a 

“I swear you won’t be happy until you break a hip.” Words

escaping me, I shove an entire chicken strip in my mouth and chew.

 

He always seems upset with me about something or another. Like

the time he told me to stop telling people my daughter was dead.

“She is in Dallas with your great grandkids. She called the nurses’ station

today. Caused quite the stir.” All I could think about was what I was

going to tell the neighbors. 

 

Sometimes, I think I hate him, but I can’t; 

he looks tired and his eyes are so sad. 

‘Is your mother here,’ I ask.

He says, “Yes.”

‘Did she not want this food?” I ask.

“We had extra,” he answers checking emails on his phone.

“Does your mother know what a sweet son she has?” I ask, liking him a little more.

“No, but she likes the chicken strips.”

 

I bet one of those damn bitches is sitting in my chair, right now!


Follow David on Twitter at @The_Booky_Man.

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