Monthly Archives: June 2017

the nursemaid’s tale

the nursemaid stands at the door wringing her hands
who is she?
what does she need, will anybody go to help her?
she doesn’t know enough
never knows enough
patient is cranky
she is not allowed to call attention to what she doesn’t know,
how she is afraid
how she’d like to run away
but the patient would come after her in her dreams

she sits outside on the stoop
nobody might really see her at all
maybe the whole house is a figment
maybe the patient is the only reality
burning candle or fever
that she can’t contain

there was a patient, maybe she is dead
maybe the cadaver keeps faint flesh because of the nursemaid’s attention
why can’t she let go?

who can’t tell her, sweet woman put down your burden
they will never thank you
you will never nurse her back to health
they’ll never pay or repay you
they’ll never give you back the energy or lost time
never look in your eyes and say i’m sorry, whisper i’m sorry, i ate your life for nothing

have you ever looked in my eyes
have you ever wondered what you would see there?
will you be whole
there is a fire of love burning
and i am all alone

i get up from the bed
i walk past her on the stoop
she is not seeing me
i brush her faintly with my spirit and disappear

what is this,
what is the meaning of this

a tide rolls in and out

a smile moves on top of the waves

one of us is free


(c) Tina Minkowitz 2017