These Are My People: Louise Palm

This is not a picture of my dear neighbor, but this was her occupation.

This is not a picture of my dear neighbor, but this was her occupation.

She sat across the room from me

on a faded floral armchair.

It covered in plastic,

wrinkling when she leaned

forward to encompass her cup

lovingly filled with tea.

Sipping silently the sugary mix

she turned her waxy face

towards the picture window

as if she could pull back

the curtains of time.

She smiled yellow at me

when she brought forth

her past in faded words

like old photographs

taken from the box hidden

under the stares of cobwebs.

Sometimes she’d tell me

stories of her youth and

her determination to teach

physical education which

mocked and giggled at her

now frail body wrinkling

in the faded floral armchair

covered in plastic

sitting across the room from me.

Sometimes she’d fart

as people sometimes do

She’d laugh and say,

“Pardon me, I’ve had a

passing of the wind.”

My eyes would water

my shoulders would shake

my snickers could not be contained.

Together we’d sit there

chortling over bodily functions

relinquishing control of time.

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