There is big excitement in the convalescent home today.
The metal hallway railing that assists the patients.
Each slow-motion step
Is its own awakening from death.
People line the sterilized, peach-wallpapered halls
As if they are all
Welcoming a war hero home.
Is as if he is moving
The rest of us
Write off walking effortlessly
As talking and the swaying of trees.
In case he should need it, right behind
And poised to catch the boy of seventeen
Is his faithful orderly, Gray.
White was Gray when Daniel first appeared
On the home’s new arrivals list,
A name he’d remembered from the local newspaper.
Is something the matter Gray? The others asked.
No, only his prognosis looks bleak.
No one believed
Daniel would regain his memory.
With Gray’s help he did;
Gray had vowed to help that kid,
It had become very important to him.
Slowly, he remembered his own mother again.
He fed himself again,
Read his books again,
Got out of bed again,
All thanks to the devoted Orderly Gray.
Now, in the midst of Daniel’s walking parade,
Gray grows afraid
Daniel will one day
Remember the gray eyes
Of the man who drove behind
The wheel of the Chevy
That had accidentally smashed Daniel’s body
At a railroad crossing
Two summers ago,
And drove away.
(Click to Hear the Audio Version)
Listen to Orderly Gray (FFP Dark Poem) by Fitful, Fearful, Phantasmal #np on #SoundCloud
I got inspired to write a narrative poem about people gathering around and getting excited about an everyday occurrence that is somehow grander to them because of the darkness of their situation. And this subject came to mind, a car accident victim who was slated to never regain his memory, move, or walk again but he eventually does.
I was going to leave the poem at that. However, in keeping with my FFP theme (Twilight Zone, King, Poe) I immediately thought of an ironic situation in which a nursing home orderly is the perpetrator of a hit and run. The very boy he had hit with his car one night shows up to be cared for at the home where he works. I imagined the orderly is shocked at first, then believes it is some divinely-ordained duty of his to help the boy regain his health and he does whatever he can to make that happen, going above and beyond. In fact, the boy does so well, that the orderly worries the boy will one day put two and two together and recall that it was the orderly who had hit him with his car.
I would kind of like to develop this into the plot of a short story. But I can’t find the time nor the inclination to do it well and do it in an entertaining-enough way as of right now. Hopefully I do someday.
Thanks for reading, readers. ❤