Sandra McPherson Henry, Praying: Sutter Psych Hospital Keeping this chair beside him— three times our day. And at midnight, when the Cosmos reduces us to snacks, still he prays. Mercy on tiptoes trips into his ruthless world. He’s formal, a stately murmurer, with the longest band of gratitudes even though he must be starved. And even though he’s starving, he manages a stony ascending trail of thank-goodness-for-this, thank-heaven-for-that. Esses whisper where teeth used to be. No piped-in music, palliative or reverent, mistimes Henry’s peace before our viands, a hospital class act, roast au jus, not as tough to a springy knife as guys he knows from the street. Vegetables bright verde, blues swirled into yellows, squash in its home of amber rind, pallid glory of a baked underground staple. Eyelids down, ropy strands of gray-brown-gray hair, Face washed with grace, Henry begins to eat only after he’s spared nothing. Page 38 - Nine Mile Magazine

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