Nothing More Than a Visit
I reached out and touched her hand, a simple
gift in a nursing home. Her old skin was soft
as spring grass. Others watched with suspicion,
She placed her other hand over mine
as if to forestall my leaving. I had decided
in an instant when I heard of her change
of habitat to visit this former neighbor
She is a woman with an endless heart.
Once, when I asked her to describe
herself, she answered, “My loneliness
The smell of dinner drifted in from the
dining room. She claimed not to be
hungry except for company.
I asked about her husband. She said
they had had an arrangement which lasted
sixty years. She had no children, claimed
to be standing on the back porch of life
waiting for death. I assured her
there would yet be moments of happiness.
Her face remained stolid.
I stood, my signal for departure, walked
across flowered carpet toward the exit,
emerged into the welcome glare of late
R. Nikolas Macioci earned a PhD from The Ohio State University. OCTELA, the Ohio Council of Teachers of English, named Nik Macioci the best secondary English teacher in the state of Ohio. Nik is the author of two chapbooks: Cafes of Childhood and Greatest Hits, as well as eight books: Why Dance, Necessary Windows, Cafes of Childhood (the original chapbook with additional poems), Mother Goosed, Occasional Heaven, A Human Saloon, Rustle Rustle Thump Thump, and Rough. Critics and judges called Cafes of Childhood a “beautifully harrowing account of child abuse,” but not “sentimental” or “self-pitying,” an “amazing book,” and “a single unified whole.”