January 3 - April 11

Those four months, we catered to an unwelcome visitor
who took up residence, disrupting our home and
Dad's immune system.
Hearty meals exchanged for juices that
shrunk him down to size, like a lanky teenage boy,
bones sharp and jutting underneath loose layers,
his mouth now mute and
eyes wide with a childlike wonder
The carrots corrected his sight—
the ideal 20/20— 
but they didn't recognize me.

Those twelve years before, we had
breakfast and Nickelodeon on Saturday mornings,
basketball drills in the driveway, and you'd
come home right at 6pm, face beaming
when you looked at Mom.
You and I would play I Spy games while
perched in the big maple tree out front,
hidden behind green leaves turning to match the bark.
I'd cheat and choose a car that already passed,
but you'd let it slide and still guess incorrectly.
Now I wish I could choose
the good over the bad memories.

(Published in Oral Roberts University's literary journal: Promethia—2018-2019 edition)

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Reagan Fleming