Challenge from Stacey Joy: write an Abuelita Who poem, inspired by Sandra Cisneros
Pat Who
Pat who ran the town
scheduled the blood drives
orchestrated Christmas shoeboxes
rocked Volunteer of the Year
waved and smiled from parade floats
chauffeured the seniors
called her favorite commissioner her son
laughed over lunches at the cafe
who ran the church
changed the marquee
typed the bulletin
wrote the newsletter
watered the plants
tended the gardens
organized the missions
rocked the nursery babies
visited the sick
held the hands of the dying
who ran the family
planned the birthdays
reserved the tables
baked the cakes
talked Christmas lists in October
approved the Christmas trees
distributed farm land
doled out tree money
scrutinized the VRBOs
sanitized clean hotel rooms
Pat who loved me as her own
when I married her son
when my mother died
when the sun was shining
when the moon was rising
when time was ticking
who taught her daughter AND sons
to scrub floors
to wash, fold, and iron clothes
to negotiate traffic
to choose steaks
to make beds
to love animals
to listen to others
Pat who was Christmas shopping one day
and fell out of bed the next
who was taken to the hospital
and rushed for brain surgery
to remove what they could
of a stage 4 glioblastoma
the day after Christmas shopping
Pat who ran the hospital
picked her own room
sent tasteless food back
then called for café takeout
got the scoop on nurses’ life stories
then s l o w l y tried to tell us each one
introduced her PT as her tormenter
bravely wore the white mask
courageously tried to smile
even laughed once or twice
before coming home
Pat who sits in the recliner
as twinkling Christmas lights
are boxed up
who watches from the other side
of the glass
sometimes transparent
always reflective
praying the treatments
buy more days that keep
passing the 2-way mirror
fingernail test…..

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