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Perseverance

by Julia Schulz 5 months ago in social commentary · updated 5 months ago

Indignant Realities

Perseverance
Photo by Random Institute on Unsplash

2015

My 84-year-old mother needs help.

Agency sends Sherry,

79-year-young healthcare aide.

I pray Mom doesn’t need the bedside commode,

Doubting Sherry’s strength in using the lift

For Mom’s large body.

By Tony Wan on Unsplash

Sherry serves Mom lunch

With a double-portion of wit.

By Will Porada on Unsplash

Mom,

With her collection of elephant jewelry

And lifetime Grand Old Party membership,

Commiserates with Sherry

About the ascension of the crazy candidate.

Will he REALLY run for President???

THAT SHOULD NOT BE!!!

By Markus Spiske on Unsplash

And Sherry tells of life

Working for an airline

When women were merely Barbie dolls,

Tossed aside at whim.

THAT SHOULD NOT BE!!!!

By Elena Mishlanova on Unsplash

Mom leaves the earth

Before the Biblical-like curses....

Before the fall of 2016

When a child rules the government

THAT SHOULD NOT BE!!!

Long before 2019

When a new plague crosses oceans

THAT SHOULD NOT BE!!!

By Tai's Captures on Unsplash

Lockdown 2020

Masked,

Pushing a disinfected shopping cart,

I spy Sherry-

Now over eighty herself

And still working in various homes-

Too vulnerable to be out.

THAT SHOULD NOT BE!!!

Yet, she offers me a word of peace

To remove the guilt-encrusted layer

Of my grief

Over Mom's passing.

By Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

2021

Vaccinated but still masked,

I encounter Sherry again-

Thrift Store this time.

Agency work still crazy,

She worries if she can make rent

And still eat.

THAT SHOULD NOT BE!!!

By NeONBRAND on Unsplash

We walk out the door together

And see an older brown-skinned man

Dressed in Mideastern garb

And trying to tie a huge wooden box

To his bicycle.

I offer my assistance-

Helping to thread and knot ropes-

Only to realize

That the antique sewing machine inside

And the huge bolt of cloth

Balanced on the handle bars

Precariously

Might topple the bicycle,

Banging his unprotected head

Against the pavement.

THAT SHOULD NOT BE!!!

By Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A stranger,

I ask if I might drive

His treasure home.

He declines.

By Andraz Lazic on Unsplash

Sherry tries to call

Someone to help,

But her cell phone malfunctions.

She orders me to leave

As she cannot watch

The impending accident

Nor should I.

By Frederik Lipfert on Unsplash

I recall church members

Following me in cars

As I pushed Mom’s wheelchair

Down a busy road to church.

I drive back around the parking lot

To see if the man finished

Securing his treasures

And will tolerate an escort,

But he is nowhere in sight.

By why kei on Unsplash

I reflect upon my study of home-based hustles

During the Great Wave of Immigration.

But this is 2021

Not 1910.

THAT SHOULD NOT BE!!!

Yet, I take the scene

As a sign from God

Of human perseverance.

social commentary

Julia Schulz

Julia Charlotte Schulz was raised in the small town of Old Tappan, NJ. She studied art and literature at Messiah College and relocated to Mechanicsburg, as an adult. She recently contributed a chapter to a published book about caregiving.

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