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Monthly Archives: December 2016

“Time measures everything”

As I stood to piss.

In piss is truth, in tribute to time the judge.

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Lord, keep us from the time of trial

But should the time of trial come, keep us strong in it.

Lord, give us Christmas cheer

But if the age should prove cheerless, give us Christmas nonetheless.

Lord, grant us Christmas peace

But if war should ride over us, let us have peace within us.

Lord, let the holi-day be a real thing, above us.

Let it not be tethered by what we do.

And if we are silent, Lord,

Let the stones sing.

Helen wasn’t looking for a new job. April of ’95 marked thirty-four years at Shady Glen Rest Home; she was a nurse supervisor and thinking about retirement. But when a man called and offered her twice her pay, she figured she should at least talk to him.

The new rest home was at the edge of town, all by its lonesome in the corn fields. The first thing she noticed was the wall around the place. The second thing she noticed was the soldiers.

The man she had spoken with on the phone turned out to wear a uniform, with stars on the shoulders.

“Mrs. Wisteria, this is a somewhat unusual establishment,” he said as he led her through the hallways. “This nursing home has been built for one patient, a very special patient. He suffers from advanced dementia. Until recently, he was being cared for at home.  The facility will be under the supervision of the U.S. Army, but the staff will all be civilians. We don’t want our man to feel…threatened. That’s why we’re looking to hire you and other experienced nurses.”

He stopped by a door, a door that looked typical of every other nursing home door Helen had ever seen.

“Why don’t I introduce you?”

Inside an elderly man sat in a wheelchair, thin, wrinkled, wispy-haired. He was watching “Gilligan’s Island” on the television. He looked up with a scowl.

Helen gasped. The general shut the door again.

“Isn’t that–”

“Yes. That’s Henry Pearson. Captain Wonder.”

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