by Jimmy Pappas
They say, Be a good boy and eat
your peas. I think, He’s a man
and he’s dying, but I say nothing.
All your life you never ate peas.
Now, as you await death, they treat
you like a child. You can no longer
swallow, so they mash all of your food.
There’s a brown pile for beef, a green one
for peas, and the normal white one for
potatoes. When everyone leaves, I push
your plate aside and move your
wheelchair close to the window.
I place a blanket over your legs
and kiss the top of your head.
Jimmy Pappas served for the Air Force during the Vietnam War training South Vietnamese soldiers. A retired teacher whose poems have been published in many journals, he is a member of the Executive Board of the Poetry Society of NH.