Notes from a Freewheeling Orderly

by Dennis J Bernstein

Last Load
Mother says she’s had enough.
She wants to throw in the towel—
But not until it’s washed and folded
with the rest of her dirty laundry.

Preventive Medicine
The doctor on duty
the night my daddy died,
mispronounced his death.
Momma isn’t taking any chances.
She paid her own specialist
to pre-record hers, in Yiddish,
with a Brooklyn accent.

She called the cops today
when I tried to drop off her meds.
She described me
to a desk clerk named O’Rourke,
as a short, pudgy intruder, with a shiny head,
and a beard as long as Methuselah.

Passover Questions
Momma takes her food
through a feeding tube now.
She wants to know
if it’s been blessed properly
for Passover.
She also wants to know
how you steal the matzo
from a feeding tube.

Role Reversal
I’m the baby of the family—
I change my mommy’s diapers,
and rock her to sleep in my arms.

Last Hours
Her skin crumbles underneath my fingertips.
I anchor her down with a feather
to keep her from floating away.

© 2022 Dennis J Bernstein  All rights reserved.

Click or tap here to see Dennis J Bernstein’s profile.

Use the “Leave a Comment” form below to submit comments on this piece.


Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: