Care

 

A man limps down the short block,
past my house towards Main Street.
His steps are short and heavy, his body
jerks as if rigged with mis-matched parts.
A large woman follows. Her skin shines
in the humid sun and she messes with a phone
held between her breasts. The man gets
too far ahead, her mouth moves—he slows
without looking back.              This is how it goes
every day. They walk together in a circle,
then do it again, and sometimes again.
They don’t seem to talk, but maybe they do.
Maybe she’s just doing her job, getting him
some fresh air. Once, he stopped and stared
at a tree. He flapped his hands and rose high
to his tip-toes. She stopped too, looked up
from her phone, and put her hand on his back.
She left it there a moment before giving
him a nudge. At first he didn’t budge, but
then he started walking, stumbling at first.

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