Mary Virginia Is Failing

Whispers scatter like softly opening fans
as she wanders, threading spaces
between tables looking for whatever
came to mind a dozen years ago.
Time has warped for her, bent back
to childhood places gone to landfill.
She is looking for a face that floats
before her eyes, listening for a voice
whose accents once jelled in her brain.
She is not perturbed—it is here
somewhere among lost glasses,
unmatched socks on laundry days.

Forks pause in mid-air—ladies’ luncheon
shifts nervously on its flowered cushions
as though the shadow of death
had fallen across the salad.
Someone rises, takes her hand,
says simply, How nice of you to come.

Sharon Scholl is retired professor of humanities and non-western studies. Her chapbook, Summer’s Child, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Single poems appear currently in Adanna, Caesura, and Switched-on Gutenberg. Her poem was in response to *82’s call for material about obscure, overlooked people.

See another in issue 4.3