Home for the Aged

by Abner Dormiendo

The clouds in her eyes sought
The sky above, as escape,
Finding signs that leads to else
Like cranes pointing — there,
There is where home must lie
But what to make of these walls
Peeling paint, floors exuding
Scent of old soap and human dirt?
The roof can only do so much
As to shield her frail body from
The rain: a friend, now a foe
Where the skin hugs the bones
Most closely. They call all of this
Condition: of the house, destitute;
Of your health, hopeless; of the soul,
Undiagnosed, but that which makes
The eyes swell and tear
With pity or repulse and she says
It is nothing else but longing, unspoken
At that place where golden fields
And trees abound — there,
She says, I am wanted,
Cared for, and no longing was
Ever necessary, there is where
Home must lie but I must lie:
Here is home now: an old bed,
Meager meals, tattered clothes —
And what was left of you? —
A weak, unflinching hope,
Like a tiny flame holding on to the wicker.

And the gravity of such thought
Pulled the clouds in her eyes
And trickled down, slowly,
On the wrinkles on her cheeks.