To an Overly Helpful Husband of Advanced Age

by Angela Kubinec

Your heart attack
is waiting
in the yard

Let the grass grow knee high
a sweaty boy hired
to do an inadequate job
much preferred to death's hand
in newly slaughtered
bits of grass
lurking in the bag of the mower
your stability weakened
hoisting and dumping its contents onto a hill of brush

Move away from the stove
feed me a can of soup nightly
your frustration over onions and cornbread
swim in my food
I fear a lonely dish towel
curling into flames
scarring you forever, ruining our home
our hearts throbbing and full of sugar
from yet another cake
as the rafters crash

Welcome the delicate banners of cobwebs
in each corner of the living room
your potential for paralysis
and my resentment of it
perched in the slip of a foot
one wrong rung of the ladder
a rag in your hand
stroking the blades of a ceiling fan
instead of my skin

Sit beside me
on the sofa
Old Man
unless you suspect
it might cause
a stroke
for at least one of us