Context is Everything – Karla Linn Merrifield

He’s having a rough, rough time, dementia diminishing him. Tomorrow, a hospital bed arrives
on the scene, set up in the living room…he’s lost his appetite just shy of totally; refuses much,
ergo not getting nearly enough nutrition no matter how hard I try…so he sleeps to conserve
energy…also tomorrow a geriatric social worker visits to work up a care plan based on needs
assessment, etc….a no-copay Medicare health care aide now helps 3 days a week, 2 hours per…I
supplement with paid home aides. As his is a palliative-care, pre-hospice case, the goals are:
keep us both comfortable, help him stay at home.

Stylish hospital
gowns via Amazon Prime—
“Caretaker’s Helper®”

I forge on: The cabin is going up! Foundation in, east wall half up. Library almost done with but
a few touch ups along baseboards for Andy the Handyman (whose wife’s one of my health aides;
she works off the records, so earns 2x her Angels in the Home pay and I pay 25% less than
Comfort Keepers for much better care).

I hung multicolored (aqua, lime green, orange) tiki lights along the window (woodlands-facing),
moved a wooden 78s record-album cabinet (its provenance a long story), draping it with 2
color-compatible filmy cotton Indian head wraps, a sari accessory I’m thinking, $5 per at the
public market.

Last, I unpacked the last box of books, #78. In it, on top, was something I’ve never seen before.
It must have come from Roger’s pre-Karla collection, must have been one of the boxes he packed
for the move three years ago when he’d been able. There on top was a message he sent me from
the Universe for when this day arrived.

From D.C. Comics:
Wonder Woman conquering
monster ships of death.

I’m not Her, but every day I work miracles.

Karla Linn Merrifield has had 1000+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies, with 14 books to her credit. Following her 2018 Psyche’s Scroll (Poetry Box Select) is the newly released full-length book Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North from Cirque Press. Her newest poetry collection, My Body the Guitar, inspired by famous guitarists and their guitars, was published in January 2022 by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series (Rochester, NY). Website: Blog at Tweet @LinnMerrifiel

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