Thursday, May 28, 2015
I’m asked to visit Marlene by Clifford.
She has asked for me.
I join him there and we walk a path actually covered
with rose petals, to her Hansel and Gretel cottage.
She’s lucky there. Most other patients in wards.
Has forgotten me. So I refresh her. “My daughter,
Barbara, goes to Cornell. I call her Clancy.”
This delights her, as she bustles about the small kitchen
repeating Clancy and laughing.
Clifford and I sit on children’s chairs nearby, displacing dolls.
She brings the tea and crumb cakes, and puts the works on
the bitty table.
Pretend. A child’s tea set and little pewter plates.
We eat, she the gracious hostess indeed!
My mini cup is oft “refilled.” He and I tell her the missing
cakes are delicious.
The doll I replaced, a sailor boy, suddenly collapses,
on the sofa. She jumps up to straighten him up.
“Oh he’s just lazy!”
Raggedy Ann, we’re assured, agrees.
Marlene, before we leave, assumes the tragic adult: “O Captain,
our fearful trip is done!”
Before we get into our cars, Clifford informs me that she called
him Captain once upon a time. “But the rest, Walt Whitman.”
Unfortunately, he tells me, he must divorce her in order to
marry Rosie. “Not your Rosie,” he laughs. Who left.
My heater oddly seems to put out cinnamon later, so I stop at
the bake shop next to LA Bodyworks.
As I drive, extract a crumb bun from the warm carton.