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Connie Hinnen Cook

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Member Since: Sep, 2002

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As a Man is he
by Connie Hinnen Cook
Sunday, October 13, 2002

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Recent poems by Connie Hinnen Cook
•  Where No Oxen Are
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           >> View all 214

They both walked in together...
the daughter and the son,
the nursing home was filling up
with people, one-by-one.
The brother, in his forties,
a three-piece-suit, gray hair...
his older sister girlishly skipped off,
leaving him there.

His critic's eyes summed-up the room:
paint peeling off the wall...
the stench of medicine and age
that wafted down the hall.

His sister spied a vase of lilacs
sitting in the room...
and with a smile she picked it up,
entranced with their perfume.
A goldfish swam contentedly
inside a sunlit bowl...
the water gleamed and glowed with light,
its magic charmed her soul.

He thought, Who'd put a goldfish bowl
in hot sun just to fry?
That fish would be much better off
if it would only die!

The nurse brought in their mother
and she saw them standing there,
she looked so frail and tiny
in that over-sized wheelchair.
The daughter rushed up to her side
and gently took her hand...
she kissed her cheek
and touched her hair,
brushing away a strand.

The mother smiled and laughed out loud,
her face lit-up with joy,
her eyes were dancing merrily,
and then she saw her boy...
She stiffened, and her hand withdrew,
her face seemed to turn hard.
She eyed his face with wariness,
her pose rigid, on guard.

He thought she looked ridiculous,
her hair was out of place...
her wrinkled mouth wore lipstick
and some rouge painted her face.
Her ugly, gnarled arthritic hands
lay useless as she sat,
he couldn't bear to touch her,
but he'd force himself to chat.

His sister asked about the room:
was she able to sleep?
His heart filled-up with true contempt:
such stupid, mindless sheep!...
They herd them here, and herd them there,
they wheel them to and fro...
why anyone would PAY for this
he couldn't hope to know!

Their happy talk droned on and on
and as the time crawled by,
What point is there in this? he thought,
she's only going to die!
What royal waste of my free time,
it almost makes me ill ~
I'll bet she hates the sight of me,
I doubt I'm in her Will.

When visiting time was finally through
they said their last farewell...
their mother wished
them both Godspeed,
he wished his mom in Hell.

His thoughts were always negative
almost from day of birth...
he focused on the darker side
and cursed his life on earth.
He never put much stock in God ~
Christians he could not bear,
that Pollyanna, do-good tripe,
those platitudes and prayer!

Within a week
they found him dead
inside his lonely room...
he'd hated life
and he'd hate death,
his hate had sealed his doom.
He'd made his life
a living Hell,
he'd hated God and kin...
so when he died
it just made sense
that Hell invite him in!


For as a man
thinketh in his heart,
so is he.
(Based on Proverbs 23:7, KJV)

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Reviewed by Victor Jensen 10/13/2002
This is one of the most inspirational poems I've read in a long time, it's simply beautiful in it's feeling and truth. I have a brother like that. He wasn't always like that but he had a heart attack a few years ago and now he hates the whole world and everybody in it. I've shed many tears over him these last few years and I pray for him daily. My own dear Mother who died a slow painfull death at least died knowing I loved her and was not afraid to tell her so.
Reviewed by Cathy Montgomery (Reader) 10/13/2002
And the flow, the expression,
the people portrayed, the message--all in
this--so greatly and wisely done...
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 10/13/2002
I prefer, "The Visit," or 'Visiting Mom." But, I see your point about what he was thinking. This is an incredibly powerful write. The true observer as poetess. Love it.
Reviewed by Lady Peg (Reader) 10/13/2002
Connie ,

A very true truth....
Excellent piece... Loved this Peg
Reviewed by Jeanette Foresta 10/13/2002
It is, what it is, thanks for the wisdom! We are who we say we are when we say, I am...
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