Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Lincoln Place Lullaby

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Many many years ago, my mother's aunt through marriage had a sister who was in a local Jewish nursing home. At the time, she was rather "out of it" but nonetheless my mother made it a point to visit the woman, and a number of times I joined her for a visit.

This one particular time, I sat in the floor's lounge, waiting because the woman we'd come to see was sleeping. So I sat there and observed the residents. And then I began to write down what I was seeing and hearing, and after I got home, I incorporated what I'd jotted down into a poem. It is called "Lincoln Place Lullaby."

Oy. Where am I?
Vey. Where are you?
Iz. What is this place?
Mir. What’s going on?
What do we do here?
What are we doing here?
Why am I here?
Where are you please, Lydia?
How could they do this to me?
How could they?
I’d like to go down please.
I would like to go home, please, Nurse.
I’m not home.
I don’t belong in here, that’s for sure.
Nobody takes any notice.
I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.
Oy. Never.
Vey. Never.
Iz. Never.
Mir. Never.

“Hey, take that damn record off, will ya! It’s skipping.”

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