I Was a Vulture
by Abbie Johnson Taylor
Doc lived in the nursing home where I worked,
loved to read but couldn’t because of failing eyesight.
I got him a cassette player from the state’s services for the visually impaired,
arranged for him to receive books on tape from the regional talking book library.
For at least a year, he enjoyed listening to those books.
We often talked about them.
When he suddenly passed,
I hurried to his room
to retrieve the talking book player before it could be lost.
Although he’d just been taken away,
the equipment belonged to the state,
needed to be returned.
I felt like a vulture
but did the deed, anyway.
I wrote the above poem recently during a meeting of my local Third Thursday Poets group. We read a poem about vultures and were prompted to write one. I did, inspired by my experience working as a registered music therapist with nursing home residents. This poem appears in the holiday extravaganza issue of The Writer’s Grapevine, which can be read here. You can click below to hear me read it.
Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography
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Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.
Independently published with the help of DLD Books.
Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.
After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.
Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.
Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?