in a nursing home

Naomi Tomlin '19
the first time i saw my father cry was in a nursing home.
we sat on the balcony overlooking a parking lot and an airplane hangar.
it was a sunday; i’d forgotten my shoes at church, so i sat barefoot
in my mother’s lap, feet hovering above the dusty ground;
i’d learned in school that dust was made of human skin cells.
the balcony was enclosed and smelled like breath after orange juice;
the nurses gave me some when i asked. it was in a paper carton, like milk.
my grandmother’s hands shook too much to write, so we couldn’t communicate.
she sat, frustrated, her leathery brown skin bunching and hanging
from the bones in her fingers as they ran through
the sparse white hair scraped back on her scalp into a demure bun.
my father tried to hold her hand steady so she could write,
and i looked at the dust as he wept, wondering whose skin lay at my feet.

-2017 Magazine

All Comments

No comments have been posted

Leave a Comment

Anna Simon
Jay Guo

Photography/Art Editors
Zane Franz
Joanna Wei

Prose Editors
Prairie Resch
Alexander Yuen

Poetry Editors
Abby Fossati
Prairie Resch

Event Coordinators
McKinley Palmieri

Web Editor
McKinley Palmieri
Alexander Yuen

Faculty Advisor 
Ms. Renee Harlow