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Dementia Unit for John Glenn

Amy Rothschild

At sunrise I peel off our young astronaut’s
blue-striped pajamas and coach him

through suiting up for his next mission.
You toss a pale bagel onto his plate,

do some hand-waving around
the problem of gravity.

Glenn says no-go to the potty but we say go-
go- go! and begin counting down. 

How it would have thrilled me to know
when we packed all our things into

your dad’s Camry, fumbled and cursed
built the dresser backwards

broke the mugs lost the spare key
booked the wrong train 

that someday we’d don headsets in Houston
learn physics float weightless 

plant a flag on the moon to say
“kid, please, just try.”