He dealt with reality the way most humans do:
He avoided it. His was a life of adjustments.
The fancy plates he purchased in Portugal—
the one place he ever visited in his life—
rested on shelves and waited to be straightened
with the slightest movement each time he walked by.
I would go to his home and find some obscure
corner, wipe it with a finger, and pretend
to have found dust. He would clean it
again anyway. In hospice, the last thing
he ever saw was the picture on the wall
that hung tilted slightly in his direction as it
taunted him to make one more adjustment.
Jimmy Pappas received an MA in English Literature from Rivier University. His poems have been published in such journals as Atticus Review, Misfit Magazine, Kentucky Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Off the Coast, Boston Literary Magazine, and War, Literature and the Arts. He is a recent first-prize winner of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire's National Contest.