A Very Sad Story - Poem by L'Angley S Delmonte

'I'm taking you to Italy, ' you said. 'To Paris. I want you to see the world before it's too late.'
I said, 'We don't have any money.
You said, 'I don't care.'

And I said, 'If you ever need to find me
Listen for my cracked voice from the TV
Saying, 'Listen to your father
or you'll be a wretch like me.'

'Hooked up to an IV, all sixty eight pounds of me in bed.
Saying, listen.

'My best friend will be the cherry tree outside of the window, if there is one.
I will talk to it every day.
Maybe it will at last gather the courage to speak back, or maybe it will simply stand there, beautiful, and listen.
Maybe it will take me in its flowered arms and fly me to Italy, or France.
I'll stay in a nice hotel and take the fifty pills
Prescribed daily to me.
And people will say, 'You poor soul.'
And I'll say, 'It's a shame I never listened to my mother. I could be rich and married to a nice man, but no one will marry a wretch like me.
No one loves me but the cherry tree.
No one finds beauty in bleached white sheets.'
And they will go to the Eiffel Tower and photograph it and they will have dinner at an expensive restaurant with someone they care about.
I will not.'

And so you said, 'That is a very sad story.
I said, 'Yes, but it would not be true if people…'
And then I ceased to speak.
You rose to your feet and you put me on a stretcher and you looked up at the constellation where you thought God might be.
And with beautiful trembling lips, you said, 'Listen.'

Poems by L'Angley S Delmonte

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