Poem by Meredith MacLeod Davidson

February 15, 2023

Interim Assistive Care

I. Prelude

And now, we will revert to the Paleozoic era of Miley Cyrus
and I will scream “pussy” louder than any azalea
or their relative, dogwoods of the virgin state
cited to flower only when my family least desired.

I’m staying the night at my grandmother’s.
A glorified babysitter ever since my grandfather passed.
She does her breathing exercises,
a futile attempt to increase the lung capacity.

II. Interlude

Shopping for the matriarch.
The cashier at the grocery
bagged for this elderly man ahead of me
beer on top of a head of cabbage,
then confronted me for presenting a passport
as my primary form of identification:
                                “Are these your papers?!”
                                “Are these papers satisfactory for you?!”

Around 11:30, lunch is required.
I serve egg salad on white bread
and my grandmother harps on a monotone.

Mom has left a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc
on the door of the fridge with a label:
                                “Get wasted!”
I sip and indulge waste not, want not
then goes to suggest get wasted, get wanted

an amalgamation of self and some Hemingway of future past.
The oxygen machine churns on, and I order Chinese. We turn on Jeopardy.

III. Exitlude

Jeopardy leaves me guessing and grandmother’s eyelids fluttering
and I sneak outside to approach now my lungs.
She plugs hers in, I load mine with smoke.

About Meredith MacLeod Davidson

Meredith MacLeod Davidson is a poet and writer from Virginia. A graduate of Clemson University with a degree in English, her work has previously been published in the 2 Bridges Review, The Bookends Review, and the Eastern Iowa Review. Meredith is currently pursuing an MLitt in creative writing at the University of Glasgow.

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