Tuesday, March 4, 2014


At work I watch the old
grow older—fragile minds,
needles stuck on
skip and repetition;
yesterday’s names resurfacing
on today’s faces.

Two ‘sisters,’ borne of
location and circumstance,
chug down the hall.
“Toot, toot”  announces one,
echoing once, then once again.
Their two-chair ‘train’
arrives in the front parlor.
First stop: the front window,
to scan for the car she
hasn’t driven in 15 years.
“I forgot where I parked” she says.
After a moment or two, car is forgotten.
“Dottie” she says, “Lets go sit
on the patio for awhile.”
The other–not now nor ever ‘Dottie’
follows her, ignoring the misnomer.

I ask how she’s doing as she passes.
“I’m percolating” she says, as train
leaves my station and wends by
on its merry way once again.

© Ginny Brannan  2014

Google Images: Imagining how these gals would've looked half-century ago!

Some may see these inside tales as sad, as in "Oh, how sad to be in a home, how sad to have impaired memory." Working there, I can tell you they themselves are anything but sad. One is in her mid-'90s, the other in her 80s. They are well-cared for, and despite the younger one struggling with memory impairment, they have developed a close friendship and camaraderie with each other and many of the staff. We smile hearing that "Toot, toot!" knowing that they are 'on the move' again!


  1. smiles...endearing the friendship that develops...even when names arent remembered there is the feel of companionship...of riding the train together...the toot toot is cute as well....made me smile...

  2. Makes me want to laugh and cry both. My mom went through all this, and she and my dad were fortunate to have compassionate care givers. And your train ladies are fortunate to have you.

  3. I cared for my mother-in-law after a stroke and memory was a struggle for her at times. No one ever got their actual name from her (apart from me as we shared the same Christian name!). She could laugh at herself when the wrong words would come flying out.

    I can relate to this post and find the ladies so endearing.


Thank you for reading my poetry and sharing your thoughts.