Maribel (A Relinquished Woman)
Maribel celebrates her birthday on Thursday.
She stopped keeping track of her age over twenty years ago;
Seven years ago, she wouldn’t be able to remember regardless.
In the last seven years, with every breath she took she exhaled more of her mind:
Her conscience, memory, values, believes.
She cannot remember her career she had irreversible passion towards ten years ago,
Though, at least she could forget her disorder.
She met Harold fourteen minutes ago.
Three minutes later, she had forgotten his name,
Seven minutes later, she had forgotten his face,
Ten minutes later, she had forgotten meeting him,
Fourteen minutes later, Harold was a stranger.
Maribel is losing her muscles, too.
A feeble reminder of the atrophy comes when a “gorgeous young lady” helps her from the bed in the morning.
What she had forgotten, though,
Is that gorgeous young lady has helped her from her bed every morning for the last six months.
What Maribel couldn’t forget, however, is how she hated winter.
Pure, utter hatred.
But how could she forget,
When she got a stern reminder every time she looked out the window.
Winter time was a time for her brain and legs to simultaneously deteriorate with each other.
However, she’s always told herself
“I’ll never die in the winter.”¹
Maribel would consistently be excited for April;
Every April first, for the last seven years, a nurse had tapped her on the shoulder;
With an undisturbed enthusiasm, and a smile like a crescent moon,
They would say
“Maribel- It’s April. It’s spring time”
Maribel would always say
“April Showers, May Flowers.”
Though Maribel and her walker take fifteen minutes to walk from the home² to the bus stop,
When she could do so in six minutes seven years ago,
And though she would be frozen when a bus would open the mechanical appendages and the driver would just glance in weary annoyance and ultimately shut the doors,
Maribel would smile, because for the first time in months she could walk to the stop,
Now that the damned snow is gone.
(Even better, the ice)
As Maribel returned to the same apartment as she had done for the last seven years, she pulled a rare complexity and remembered something;
Her middle name is Grace.