Along the wooden courtyard fence
red and yellow poppies circle
newly staked saplings; above it,
power lines angle over a brown hill.
At one window Earl slumps dazed,
his mute frown tightening
as Judith stammers with each step
in a language with no words.
Harry claps his thigh to call
a sheep dog no one else can see,
Margie whines again, “I’m scared.
Will you hold my hand?”
There’s a woman who paddles
wheelchair circles in stocking feet,
muttering her mantra
of “No. No. No…”
And on a sofa in the dayroom an old lover
yearns to have her eyes upon him;
a daughter kneeling at her father’s feet
prays to hear him say her name once more.
Dressed in jogging gear and sneakers
the dispossessed suffer their purgatories
to Mozart on a tape deck, wondering
if that was lunch or dinner.
You can visit them anytime.
Turn right at the end of the main hall
and follow the Arcadia Unit signs.
The door code is 3 2 1 zero.