A Meal for the Sick                                                                                                                                     

A tray with a vased plastic flower and                                                                                                    a get-well card by a paper napkin holds                                                                                        barely warm consommé and                                                                                     
melting green Jell-O.

He tries the dry toast dipped in weak tea and sighs,                                                            remembering bratwurst with sauerkraut,                                                                          
apple strudel and cream,                                                                                                                    brandy poured into darkly brewed coffee.           

The days of spice and spirit gone,                                                                                                        dusty grime on the plastic flower                                                                              
befits the meal.

The greeting card unsigned, unread–                                                                                           
the napkin a crumpled handkerchief                                                                     
absorbing a consommé sea                                                                                                           

The sick-hungry diner has finished.