Mashed Peas

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.

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