Christyn Hutchens



when i was young
i lived next door
to a Mr. and Mrs.

Mr. Depallio
had an oxygen tank—
while Mrs. Depallio
just had big hair.

they would let me eat
the cherry tomatoes
they grew in the yard—
but never the
carrots or oranges.

they spoke in thick
italian accents
and were hard of hearing—
but would still complain
my brother and i
were too loud.

one day
Mr. Depallio
gave me
a porcelain angel
to give
to my mother—  
later that day
he was hospitalized.

on the day
of Mr. and Mrs. Depallio’s
wedding anniversary
Mr. Depallio
chose to go home—
against doctor’s orders.
he died
that night.

my parents took care
of Mrs. Depallio
after that—

i remember her
on the screened porch
next to Mr. Depallio’s
empty oxygen tank.

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