Nic Redhead CC
Naked and Crying
Daddy would not keep on his hospital gown.
This buttoned up mountain man, would
begin his shenanigans around midnight and
revel until 3:00 a. m. He would strip
his gown, his diaper, his yellow hospital socks
with the no-slip dots, and his sheets.
to leave this world the exact way he
entered it. Naked. Dark to dawn. Crying.
Dead Man Talking
The granddaughters would comb his hair, adjust his bedding, and help him with his physical therapy each day. The hospital staff moved us to a larger room because so many people came to tend my dad. My mother would sit beside him and hold his hand for hours upon hours. Sometimes he would squeeze her hand so tightly he left bruises. Then he would wake up, smile, and talk to her. We did this for 12 days. But the man who still exercised twice a week and golfed weekly, a full 18 holes, just couldn't pull through this mess. The stroke won. I'm glad my mother is hard of hearing. When he leaned in, looked into her eyes, and whispered to her You're holding the hand of a Dead Man, she responded, Yes, Richard I love you, too.
Carol Parris Krauss is a poet from the Tidewater region of Virginia. She enjoys teaching, gardening, and college football. Her work can be found in online and print magazines such as Story South , New Verse News, Plainsongs, and the Amsterdam Quarterly. In 2018, she was recognized by the University of Virginia Press as a Best New Poet. More of her work can be found at https://www.carolparriskrausspoet.com/.
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