the flock

Little old ladies in wheelchairs, with perfectly coiffed hair,

Attired in pretty dresses,

As if for dinner and song.


Women alone or in pairs,

Moving quickly in their chairs, playing like little children,

Talking and gossiping, waiting for the ice cream bar to open.


Those who are injured lay silently in their beds,

Waiting for broken bones or hearts to mend.

A man with one leg greeted me as I walked into a room.

Outgoing, talkative,

Only turning sour-faced when a cancer cure came on the TV.

He snickered as he watched the promises.

It was then I knew why he was there.


The building’s landscaping expertly maintained,

Tall palm trees and large Coleus plants,

Clean white concrete sidewalks,

Giving a message of beauty and hope and care.


Lists of activities, meals and special events,

Adorn the multi-colored walls inside.

Encouraging the injured to be part of a community,

To laugh and talk and share.


Monday brings rehabilitation, stationary bicycles, treadmills,

Balls and barbells.

Urging bodies to regain vitality,

The young therapists gentle and kind.


The nurse brings a cocktail of drugs,

To bedridden souls,

To ease swollen limbs, for those with pain filled days and nights.

I watch as the magical potent works its wonder,

As eyes open and faces smile.


I opened one wooden blind in the room to reveal a surprise,

I saw a sparkle like a Swarovski crystal,

A single raindrop pooled on a leaf,

The sun making the miniscule drop glisten,

A prism of colors-beautiful.


Outside a tiny baby bird shivered in the wet grass

The adult bird hovering nearby

Screeching at the baby to fly

To join the flock,

Nature’s rehabilitation in practice.


Two times before I have wandered through these halls,

Helping one parent after a stroke, another after a fall.

I know the magic that happens in this building

How they turn back time again and again.


As I drive away, the steam from the recent storm

Rises off the blacktop, disappearing into the sky

And I wonder if this time, the third time, will be a charm

That my Dad will choose to fly again and join the flock.


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