Candy Striper in 4 Acts

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 11, 2018

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Submitted: June 11, 2018

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Candy Striper in 4 Acts

 

By Alexander Guinevere Kern

June 1987

 

1

 

“You’re not hanging around Here all Summer!”

Said my blind, hard-working Mother.

Peppermint pink and Snow White stripes

Volunteer uniform, starchy apron/starchy smile.

Disposition required: terminally cheery.

I took the job in the Nursing Home.

 

2

 

Shock: 3:00 a.m. orange juice glass

Mourns on metal tray. Mrs. Peters passed

Away yesterday.  No one told the kitchen.

I used to serve it to her, sip by quivering sip.

“Let her come get it from Heaven,”

Joked the Head Nurse, snorting.

 

3

 

The tender speech teacher with Muscular Dystrophy

Slipped from the physical therapy table straps

Into a frantic knot of limbs. I can’t hoist 

Her heavy unusable muscles - she weeps.

Doctor rescues her, pinches my elbow HARD.

Whispers tensely: “Don’t you dare tell anyone this happened.”

 

4

 

Venerable crone - 99 years, Graphite scrub of hair 

Defiant eyes. I work each cinched knuckle gently,

Easing her arthritis. Psychiatrist bustles in,

Peers into her rheumy eyes, asks “How do

You feel about geriatric sex?”  (Pause)

She hawks a stream of phlegm onto his

Dangling pink silk tie  . . . grins wickedly.


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