closing night

by mandaceehb

two days of interacting with the elderly

and i realise they are not fearless

but defenseless

we are here to make them happy

but inevitably the bolts of our purpose have been wrenched out by life

“When you’re old, you are useless. You can’t work- nobody wants to hire you.”

“Uncle, don’t say that, that’s not true!”

but he must know the truth better than me, he knows it

a man of 83

eyes watery tinted pale blue with age

his smile is toothless, his smile is momentary

“Do you know what they told me?” he asks

i shake my head no

“What are you doing looking for a job? You should just wait to die.”

my heart turns cold

he looks at me and cranks his index finger


“Just like sleeping”, he says

he shows me, closes his eyes for a heartbreaking moment

leaving me to stare at his veiny lids

“No worries and memories.”

he rehearses his part for closing night