Leonardo da Vinci
His face stuck against the seventh floor window.
Waited for someone to come, to visit.
The only thing he saw at that height
Were birds and window washers.
Where are they all?
The nephews, nieces, children, grandchildren?
The ones remembered
With presents on their birthdays.
Always an excuse, a reason, another day
Maybe another birthday
Sunday spent alone…
Alone with strangers…
Playing Scrabble waiting for the phone to ring.
Like seagulls after scraps with wings outstretched
They were there
When his furniture needed a new home
Mementos were given away
Valuables being passed out.
So he read and studied through the days
Counted ceiling tiles at night
And waited to die.
Forgot about all the times
He got up at the crack of dawn
So there were always cookies
Around when they were hungry.
Forgot about all the colds he cured
all the people he helped
all the stories he told
over and over, again.
So he wouldn’t be left alone again
alone with strangers…
I wonder if any of them understand.
The ones who will spend his money.
What it’s like to be eighty-seven
and know you’re never going home?
*Jack was my father-in-law and my friend.