The Wheelchair

I wanted to save it, to store it
with her things,
collectibles and figurines, and all memories
hidden in coat pockets from our afternoon
walks, before her legs became thin filaments
immobilized by the deathtrap of disease, when
she’d pick clover from the grass, where now
I gather acorns in the meadow, fallen on
her tombstone as if nature is trying to
camouflage her years, erase the dash of her
existence with droppings of fallen fruit —
I wanted to save it to remember
the shifting
shape of her, our journey to the shower
in morning, to the table’s afternoon tea,
to the mirror’s reflection where all I could see
was the one who gave me life, whose
countenance reflected defeat, muddling
the cause, as if her will to leave was crushed
by a daughter prolonging misery, a pause
in (h)ours with love my only motive –
I wanted to save it for sedentary
to know the sense of being stuck in
the midst of movement of having nowhere
to go without another’s force guiding the ride –
maybe it was empathy, so I might understand
the desire of giving up or giving in – still, I pushed
the bars with sturdy hands and placed a bow
of flowers wrapped within strands of ribbon
over chrome, that chair that took her back
and forth from home –
I wanted to save it, to let it cradle
my body,
experience the world from an amputated point
of view, become hostage along our path where
magnolias grew and bloomed in magnificence
and yet, I gave it to the lady across the street,
who said she couldn’t stand for long, how it would
come in handy when she wanted to linger,
to sit and watch the sparrows and jays in her
garden, and maybe if it wasn’t too much trouble
I could drop by now and again, for a visit.


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