by Bob'n Along
In the lost and found department
|May Bell, twenty odd year veteran of Shady Rest Nursing Home might have been touched in the head. She never once expressed a sorry word or angry tone in all that God given time. Ain’t normal folk do that.
Now, they carried her out by her feet on one end and what was left of her on the other.
She wore a smile every darn living day and didn’t put it to bed until there weren’t no more use for it. ‘Cept that one time Grace Palmer stole May Bell’s stuffed white rabbit. Woman couldn’t stand someone happy. Had to put a stop to it or she might get infected, lose her mind, she grumped and said.
That mouth is what betrayed her every time. Exercising gum between her jaws and spitting virile words out as fast as they was born, and spit a flying, showering everyone they touched within shouting distance. That was ole Grace Palmer. She was her own best friend ‘cause nobody else could stand her and that wicked tongue.
Reason I’m telling you this, you being here new and all, is you got mighty big shoes to fill. You ain’t no visitor come to claim time with kin. Don’t have the lost look and wary side long gaze. For most, age has trapped us here. You is too young. Probably government sponsored since the group homes being shut down. It were here or out on the street and people get uneasy seeing you humming and rocking like that.
Touched in the mind but no smile holding you together like May Bell. Come in strapped to a wheelchair and banging yur’ head. You a sad curiosity to look at. Hardly human judged by most standards. I think all you need is a friend.
Here. Hold still now. Got a rhythm in you, don’t ‘cha? Strong enough to make that wheelchair try learning how to dance. See what I brought you? It’s your’n now. Let me unstrap that hand while the staff hide out in the office. Afeared they might catch what you got be my guess. Superstitious lot. Turn them mean against you for just being yourself.
Shh. We’ll talk later. There. That’s better. Got a strength in your claw gripped my arm. You’ll do for staying power if’n you settle on down.
Why how about that? That’s where May Bell’s smile come from. Holding her white stuffed rabbit did the trick. It’s you’rn now, neighbor. I’ll sit and bask in it awhile. Reminisce about May Bell so you get's to know her, being your kin and all.