Aunt Mary, please don’t tell us
about the sparrow that sits on your sill or
how Chauncey faithfully brings slippers
while sunrise refracts in butterfly wings.
We tire of coffee cups and newspapers.

Tell us Mary about
shouldering the street man
who drags his right knee shuffling
to buy food on Tuesdays, how his stench
impregnates your clothes.  Write to
comfort the mad woman who lost
her Suzie last Winter, how her
screams revisit as you kick off
the slippers.  Tell us about
hospital coffee in paper cups, of bedpans
and diapers and needles.  How you
wailed for Uncle Don in his death bed.