The Cross of Lorraine

During life’s natural disasters,
people can become inhuman in suffering.
In tall building where I live,
in a renovated space once called Vic’s Cafe
(bottom floor)
lives a 67 year old lady named Lorraine.
Twenty five years ago,
Lorraine’s husband left her for a Jezebel,
she had little money, he took all savings.
Afterward, breast cancer struck,
she had mastectomy,
was committed to Taylor Nursing Home,
her son indulged drugs and gambling,
arrested and charged with armed robbery,
sentenced, he did prison time.
Every night, upstairs in old Vic’s Cafe,
I listen to Lorraine weeping about
not having a chance to tell her unfaithful
and deceased husband she loves and forgives.
She cries for son serving jail time,
one who loves Lorraine, had 1-month to go
before becoming an R.N.

Lonely and suffering Lorraine –
I too, lonely, suffering, maybe others are too?
Perhaps deeply caring, perhaps a do-gooder,
I visit Lorraine quite often,
take her cigarettes, Krispy Kreme Donuts.
The other day, a Catlano hoagie, red peppers,
first one she had “since Princess Diana died.”
Love placed terrible burdens upon Lorraine,
and my contributions to her daily diet may kill.
Tonight.., upstairs in Vic’s Cafe, I think about
the old wood cross upon her parlor wall.
In pink pumps, Lorraine walks floor at night,
here and there, cold March wind,
thorns pierce head, she’s sick of TCM,
she gave all she had to Jean-Pierre Aumont.
I shudder, Lorraine cares for little Isabella
next door, she knows she’s hurt,
“Everybodys hurt,”1
the flesh on Lorraine’s cross cold,
she knows room temperature must stay set,
the rules, steady and humane, 68 degrees.

  1. A beautiful love song by musicians R.E.M. []

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pa. He can be reached at: orlovzek13@al.com. Read other articles by Charles.