303. Rest

Louise lurched up,
Struggling, one knee,
Then the other, raised.
She stood reeling, weaving
On her feet. Several
Steps she staggered toward
The kitchen, tottered,
Crashed down to the floor.

“Oof–what a clown!”
She chuckled, as if drunk,
Hands pressed to her head,
And moaned.
Tom appeared.
He grasped her by the elbow,
Tugging gently up,
But there she sat.
“What a clown, hey, Tom?”
She laughed, hacking.
Thomas stooped:
“You need to lay in bed.
I’ll–“
But she waved him back.
“No no.
Got a quilt by her.
Haul me there.”
Halfway standing,
One leg dragged behind,
Draped on Tom, she
Made it to her place.

Sinking, with his hands
Around her shoulders,
She looked at him once
Square in the eyes:
“Never saw a woman”–
Nodding down at Riah–
“So stuck on a man.”
She smiled.
Tom stared. Then he flushed.
He seemed at a loss
For what to say.
Finally:
“Wish that I could–
Shoot the breeze like you.”
Her eyebrows arched,
Surprised. “Oh. Do you?”
Her smile widened:
“Someday soon.”

Then before her sight
His face blurred, faded.
Overcome with sleep,
She hung her head.
“Lord God, please don’t send
One of them headaches,”
Were the last words, that night,
Louise said.

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