Nursing Home Hallway

I turn to leave
and watch my grandmother,
dressed gracefully in
white slacks hanging
loose over thin limbs. She is tall,
regal,
looking at me from the middle of a
tan hallway that stretches
into a deep florescent
lighting, nourishing
the hazy limbo between us.

I walk straight,
past pictures of Christ
and metal crosses that hang
on the stripes of wallpaper
and fish circling in a dull tank,
past dark hollow rooms
where white-clothed bodies
watch TV,
past the chapel
that is now empty and waiting for
tomorrow morning’s mass.

I stop abruptly after a few feet and turn.
I watch my grandmother, her
thin frame easing into the hallway shadows.
She knows,
turns,
waves goodbye.

The light gets bright at the entrance.
I pass
white-haired women
who talk of President Roosevelt
and I hurriedly
push open the door.

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