He sits outside in the sun
at the picnic table in his wheelchair.
Sometimes he wears a hat—
often he does not.

With headphones, he listens
either to a recorded book or ball game.
His favorite books are westerns, mysteries.
The more blood and guts the better,
as far as he's concerned.

His favorite baseball team, the Colorado Rockies,
don't often play well.
Nevertheless, he's ever faithful to the end.

He asks me to bring watermelon in a bowl,
already sliced, the seeds gone,
so all he has to do is enjoy their taste.
Like a little boy with a sweet tooth,
he asks for cookies, candy
with Pepsi, Mountain Dew, or Propel.

In late afternoon or early evening,
picnic table shaded, I join him,
check email on my lap top,
listen to an audiobook of my own.
With the two of us side by side,
I feel a sense of peace
despite the work involved
in getting us here.


This poem appears in the spring/summer issue of Magnets and Ladders. Click below to hear me read it.