by Michael Lee Johnson
no sugar or cinnamon spice;
years ago arthritis and senility took their toll.
Crippled mind moves in then out, like an old sexual adventure
blurred in an imagination of fingertip thoughts.
Who in hell remembers the characters?
There was George, her lover, near the bridge at the Chicago River:
she missed his funeral; her friends were there.
She always made feather-light of people dwelling on death,
but black and white she remembers well.
The past is the present; the present is forgotten.
Who remembers Gingerbread Lady?
Sometimes lazy-time tea with a twist of lime,
sometimes drunken-time screwdriver twist with clarity.
She walks in scandals; sometimes she walks in soft night shoes.
Her live-in maid smirks as Gingerbread Lady gums her food,
false teeth forgotten in a custom-imprinted cup
with water, vinegar, and ginger.
The maid died. Gingerbread Lady looks for a new maid.
Years ago, arthritis and senility took their toll.
Yesterday, a new maid walked into the nursing home.
Ginger forgot to rise out of bed;
no sugar, or cinnamon toast.
© 2007 Michael Lee Johnson
Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. His chapbook, From Which Place the Morning Rises, and two other, are available at www.lulu.com.
He is the author of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, and has been published in more than 280 different publications worldwide, including the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Fiji, Nigeria, Algeria, India, the United Kingdom, Sierra Leone, Israel, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Finland, and Poland.
Find more by Michael Lee Johnson in the Author Index.
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