Edna’s Day Out
At the crack of dawn screen door hinges squeal.
The wheelchair handles are cold in his hands.
He shifts his weight forward.
Front wheels, up!
The bare rear-wheel rims scar the mahogany threshold,
the seat cushion squeaks louder
under Edna’s weight.
Like every other morning for the last thirteen years
the old retriever gives him a blank stare,
its glass eye bleedin’ blue.
Hold on, Edna.
They make a quick one-eighty ‘round the dog’s empty food bowl,
avoid one of the broken floorboards,
and come to a halt on the landing.
We’re almost there, dear.
Edna does her morning wheelie down the porch steps.
The liver spots on her hands seem larger
in the early morning rays.
Here we go, Edna!
The wheels sink away and whisper over the lawn;
the birds stop chirping as if they care to listen
the river birch waves good mornin’ in green.
Almost there, now.
They pass the birch and pull up under the apricot tree;
its blossom shadows dance Edna to sleep,
and her oxygen tank hisses blue murder.
There, there, darling.