The poetic city: “The Wheelchair Slump 1/10/15”

Miss Helen and friends. (Photo by: Richard Eager)

A Suite For Miss Helen: The Wheelchair Slump    1/10/15


I found her in the wheelchair slump

The head-in-hands posture of dementia …

The final common denominator 

Of all the residents in the TV room

Watching without seeing, 

Listening without hearing  

As the cooking show rerun droned on,

The one where Paul Prudhomme 

Finally reveals to the world

His secret difficulty with baking. 


Helen spoke no words today 

Not even a “yes” or an “ok”

So, I had to use all my tricks 

To coax the spirit still alive 

Into a wordless conversation 

Of dance in fits and starts, 

With eyes, 

                 with hands,

                                    with smiles 

Helen finally spoke again 

Still never missing a beat.


© Reece Burka 2/1/2019



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