Friday, July 16, 2010

For the Elderly Man Whose Heart Gave Out While I Washed Dishes at Twin Sisters Restaurant

By Eve Lyons

I don't want to die hungry
"Can I take your order?"
recently pierced Susan asked
no, I'll just have
cardiac un-rest instead
and then the men in blue
came and strapped him in plastic oxygen
breathe in breathe out
hope your heart can stand
the pain
this life brings
and I hope to god
I never have to die hungry
allow me to devour
thick-breaded egg salad life
plump vegetarian sandwiches
with soulful avocados
oh so creamy
melt in my heart
and keep it well
so that forty years from now
let me not cry when
the big She
tiptoes in
and asks to
see me outside
let me cry out in joy
when She
sends me to the principal's office
because there is nothing left in
this world
for me to hunger for.

*Note: Line breaks are different than they appear here. You'll have to buy the book to see the actual line breaks.*

Published in Is this Forever, Or What? Poems and Paintings about Texas (ed. by Naomi Shihab Nye), 2004

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