A Poem about my Mother, a Year before her Death

Our mother needs a monkey
She needs a small pale monkey
The kind of monkey that organ-grinders had on their shoulders
The kind that threw pies in Three Stooges movies
She needs a pet monkey
To bite her and scratch her
To poop all over her house
To climb her drapes and swing from the chandelier
To toss tchotchkes at guests and bite the heads off the Kachina dolls
To give her something to do,
Other than having surgery and getting sick and losing the use of an arm or a leg or both
Other than radiation and chemotherapy
Other than second opinions
Other than to die.
June 2003

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