Half-written notes, half-read books,
empty promises that make no sound as they drift past,
tables set for a feast, surrounded by chairs with no one in them.
Bodies of those I’ve recruited to join me in visionary projects for a better world
drift silently past, eyes staring vacantly ahead
as I try helplessly to reach out to grab their attention.
They cart me off to Merriment Manor Senior Living Home
shaking their heads sadly.
“He just doesn’t have it anymore,” they say,
as the nurse’s aide from another country,
who just got this job at minimum wage
and has signed up for her required ESL class,
hands me my walker and wheelchair.
“But what will become of the dreams and promises?” I say.
“What about the people who’ve trusted me to make a difference?”
The nurse’s aide shakes her head and smiles uncertainly.
The rest just look at each other knowingly.
“He doesn’t have it anymore,” they say.
Then out of nowhere you jump into my lap, purring,
demanding to be noticed, stroked, and scratched in your favorite places.
I sit still for a moment, staring at the fog. You nuzzle your nose against my damp hand, pressing and rubbing your furry forehead insistently.
“Come on,” I say, getting up. Merriment Manor vanishes into the fog. “Let’s go inside and get some breakfast.”