The Ability to Love at the Day Activity Center (for Dave H)

David Moreau

In the back building on Sabattus St.,

I used to think your eyes were like the eyes

of God, welcoming, attentive, bemused.

You needed those eyes, for though you could

whip your head around when a pretty girl

came in the room, that was all you could move

and your eyes were your arms, legs, hands

and voice.  I’d hold two fingers in front of you

and you looked.   Yankees – Red Sox?

Democrats – Republicans?  Recliner by the window –

wheelchair at the table? 

 

When Gina dropped her stuffie or Joe

was slumped in his wheelchair you told us

with the eyes of the Old Testament God,

and unlike they, who had learned to wait,

you expected us to do something right away.

So, Jim and I would say, We got it good buddy,

and each holding an arm and a leg

we pulled Joe up straight

and brought your chairs together,

so he would brush your arm

and you would smile at him content,

as though you never realized

this was a job for us, but thought it only part

of the world where you were used to loving

and being loved.

 

At your funeral, among the pictures

your mom displayed was one of you as a teenager,

all legs and smile, on a blanket at the beach,

and I’ve spent enough time on my knees

fastening tie downs in the back of the van

to know that getting you there was a feat.

 

How strange and wondrous, still

to sense the warmth of such a day.