I love Teresa Stouffer’s compassion for the older folks who sometimes inhabit her poems.  Teresa is a member of my poetry workshop group in State College.

Wheelchairs circle
the worker
pills on plastic spoons.
I step over a man’s legs,
drool-soiled napkin on his thigh,
kiss Dot hello on her whiskery face,
a woman’s sticky hand tugs me.
Perfume and bowel odors
mingle, cloud the hallway.
I breathe through my mouth.
Meds swallowed,
Dot spits out,
“Are you in a hurry?”
In her room,
I snip the hairs on her chin.
Dot says,
“All I do is sit
and eat.
And I don’t feel much like eating anymore.
When will you be back? ”

– Teresa Stouffer

P.S.  New prompts are up on the Prompts page.

7 thoughts on “Dot

  1. I read an article recently by a physician who was concerned that we have grown consumed with prolonging life at the expense of quality. As I read, images of old people dying at home filled my head. The absence of tubes, beeping machines, and sterile surroundings was comforting. I don’t want to die in the hospital or have my life prolonged artificially. I don’t even want to live in a nursing home. Dying an unnatural death doesn’t appeal to me in any way, but I may have no choice. All I can hope for is peace and gratefulness at the end. The way my mom died.


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