For example, she gets August and Tuesday mixed up
and she’d like to name the next month Caesar. Julius
after that. I sense that she prefers infinity, avoiding
things that go around and come back again—which is why
her father asked my mother to tell me the least I could do
is write to her, maybe apply for a visitor’s pass.
I show her the piano in the day room with keys named
one through eighty-eight. Octaves don’t exist. She skips
the scales we learned as kids but plays killer
ragtime blues. Speaking of music and Tuesday,
my puppy stops barking when I say things
like Excuse me, or Ruby Tuesday, or when I sing the blue
shoe song she likes. Layla is the Irish Setter I rescued
from the pound. Her previous owner gave her up
because she’s afraid of a rifle going off, bullets
in a barrel, the click from a trigger’s pull, the sounds
of hunting season, the sound September makes.
Previously published in Fifth Wednesday Journal.
Photo Credit: William O’Keefe