Although their memories are going,
they continue picking at each other’s food,
assemble in the main lobby and watch
whoever comes to visit, wondering
if any of those strangers is somehow related.
The one who’s in her nineties
and no longer has any family
delivers the mail and stands
hovering in the doorway until
each package is opened.
The corridors stretch snugly carpeted
with polished wood guide rails
on either side, baskets of flowers
outside each resident’s door,
soft as the lining inside a coffin.
There is the Book Club, the Art Club,
the Bridge Club, the Shuffleboard Club,
the Christmas Choir and Mistletoe,
but whoever doesn’t join any of the clubs
becomes a social outcast.
Then a guidance counselor shows up,
sometimes with a prayer shawl and Bible,
checking up on the medications
and taking suggestions for how to improve
community service and physical exercise.
No sooner do you make a new friend
than she’s in Assisted Living;
the numbers diminish each evening
at the dining room as residents
scarf up extras for snacking later on.
It’s been along time. Go ahead. I know you want to. That’s why it’s here.
Spoof??! You don’t know Spoof!!!
The Return of the Night of the Living Dead!