Yesterday, I sat with Betty.
More factually, she sat with me.
Just plopped down
in her fuzzy pink housecoat –
large eyes, large breasts, large curls.
She wanted to talk to me
about something at the home
that she felt just wasn’t right.
So I listened, in between
my mother making her own
comments on my sweater’s stripes.
Hey. Where’d get that?
Mother asked.
And while I told her,
I was also nodding my head
at Betty, who swears she was right.
I know I saw her working
somewhere else, she said.
And then went on to repeat
her sworn testimony
interspersed with stories
of a mother with Alzheimer’s
and a father with dementia,
how she was raised on horses
and always had cats,
was now owner of “Itsy” –
a Chihuahua in miniature.
Hey, I like that sweater.
Mother tried to join in.
Your mom repeats a lot.
Betty replied but didn’t pause.
What I mostly wanted to keep
was my horse, Randy.
And here, I couldn’t tell
if the name was tongue in cheek
or named after an old beau.
But I nodded my head
as she spoke fervently about
caring for the horse.
And I wondered later
if there wasn’t some way
to make her wish come true.
But if it happened,
wouldn’t her wish just disappear?
My family asked.
And I agreed, It would dissipate,
go unremembered.
But the universe would not forget.


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