They make an odd couple,

brother- and sister-in-law, 

a nuclear family with no

further branching.

One does a rich rocking

motion to get out of a chair,

waddles to the mail box,

carries in the groceries

he cannot see.  The other shuffles

across the kitchen floor,

dragging her bad leg

in order to serve a meal, leaning 

in to avoid the last few steps,

sliding the plate halfway on to

the table with her finger tips.

The light is dim, life 

fragmenting.  Church 

on days they feel up 

to an outing, a drive

by the graveyard.  A couple 

of neighbors check in

periodically; a guy mows

the lawn.  No more secrets

to be made, only silence

moving in; silence and more

sleeping.  No more turning 

stones to find happiness—

what happiness they have 

they have to make. 



Melva Sue Priddy