Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Sense of Humor

By: Kyle Elden

In this nursing home
my grandmother’s new home
there are the wanderers and the lost
strolling around in wheelchairs
and walkers, waiting to die

This woman is talking to us now
in her motorized wheelchair
she drives around with a vengeance
like a Harley Davidson motorcycle
still full of fire and life
she has no legs
and brown teeth
and a urine bag protruding
from her blue, worn t-shirt
she tells us of adventures
on the DTA
and how she leaves everyday
to visit friends or take care
of her son-of-a-bitch ex-husband
who lives at Tri Towers

Another woman
sits in her wheelchair
frail and lanky,
wild white hair disheveled
blank stare
cradling a naked baby doll
with a stained cloth abdomen
and red crusted lipstick or nail polish
or who knows what, along the tiny
plastic lips of her child,
my grandma asks her “sweetheart,
where’s your baby’s clothes?”
and then whispers to us that
the old coot doesn’t
ever say a word,
but today she stops my daughter
and tells her she has a pretty dress,
a beautiful dress
when we walk away Stella asks
me why the baby has a bloody mouth
and I begin laughing, tears rolling down
my face and hug my sweet little one
although its not really funny
this cycle of life and death
this sour smell of sterility and old people

but seriousness and sorrow
become too heavy for me in that moment
and with laughter they leave me like a
flock of white doves taking flight
and I begin to breathe easier
see the grace in the strangeness
of these people dying awkwardly and too slowly
and remember God has a sense of humor too


  1. wow Kyle. This is the first of your works I have read, and it is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it. Honored to know ya. :)

  2. Why thank ya' sweet thing....I likewise feel honored to know you :)