Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Pauletta Hansel: Joy

When we finally sprung my father from the hospital

after days spent staring at the cardio unit’s

cinderblock walls the color of nothing

good, his joy could not be contained.

Every meal he ate was the best he’d ever had.

I worried, at first, that my mother would feel slighted

by his ecumenical praise—the biscuits on the buffet line

at the Golden Corral no less holy than hers. But she knew

better than I how to savor his delights.

As we traveled the back roads from doctor to home,

he asked at every turn,

Have you ever seen a spring as beautiful as this,

the red of that maple, the washed denim sky?


Copyright Pauletta Hansel. Originally published in Thimble Literary Magazine: VOL. 3 NO. 3, November, 2020.

Pauletta Hansel’s eight poetry collections include Friend, Coal Town Photograph and Palindrome, winner of the 2017 Weatherford Award for best Appalachian poetry.

4 comments on “Pauletta Hansel: Joy

  1. Barbara Huntington
    July 21, 2021

    I remember mom looking through my window at the blooming jacaranda. “Oh, that’s so beautiful!” And then 5 minutes later, “oh that’s so beautiful!” Then three minutes over and over until I distracted her. Then again. And I always agreed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kim4true
    July 21, 2021

    So many of us have shared these experiences of late, witnessing our elders savoring their final days, weeks, hours.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on July 21, 2021 by in Health and Nutrition, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , .

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