she met a guy

Maria Sebastian  •  Buffalo, New York

whenever anyone asks
how Mom is at the nursing home

I tell them she met a guy
and they smile and say how cute

he makes her laugh I add
lets her beat him at rummy

repeats her stories to strangers
she was in a beauty contest

she didn’t smile or she’d have won
she used to decorate all her houses

he even tells me about myself
you could sing before you could talk

you sang that Debbie Boone song
“You Light Up My Life”

you were only four years old
she told him this weeks ago

Chris was once a substitute teacher
Mom introduces him as a Professor of English

what’s the difference really
he is a hero of the humanities

complimenting her rhinestone clasp bracelet
the one she wears to meet him

at the card table in the community room
where he hooks her cameo necklace

like a nurse and a best friend and a true love
the last voice she would want to hear

if she could choose a last to hear
a new friend who knows just enough

to validate this version of her
the one she worked all her life to perfect