THE MAKING OF 1:43 PM
Anna had Down Syndrome and was best friends with my sister
who also, not surprisingly, has Down Syndrome, too that’s the
PC way to refer to it these days.
And yes, Anna died 3 days after taking a Caribbean cruise with her mother
my sister and my mother. Four ladies on the water having the time of their
lives until Anna had a stroke on the boat and no one knew what was happening,
certainly not the jackass cruise ship doctor.
You’re wonder how old? At 26, she proclaimed she was on a diet while devouring
bags of chips. Her blood clots got bigger a drunk driver blinded
her in one eye she was the glue that held and stickied
her family. Note:
Homeward bound from the boat, airport security demanded Anna get out of her
wheelchair for frisking and wanding while her head uncontrollably rolled.
Because you asked, my neighbor is just my neighbor, a motivated guy who
has nothing in common with Anna except he’s a good person. Oh,
Jason, sweet Jason, Anna’s boyfriend for years, doesn’t have
Down Syndrome, but is slow and doesn’t understand the concept of death. He thought
her wake was a party for him because everyone slapped his back
and asked Jason, how are you doing? More
footnotes: My mom actually does talk like the italics
One Liberty Plaza in downtown Manhattan was uninhabitable after
9/11 and has nothing to do with Anna except another wacko association
I made when faced with a death at 1:43 on a Tuesday afternoon.
—from Rattle #26, Winter 2006
Rattle Poetry Prize Honorable Mention