Fall 2009, Volume 7

Poetry by Eric Loya

Morning Prayer

Baby powder, before all else  
though that was never
the procedure of things back then.
The stinging smell of urine
was always first as my mother and I
came down from our restless beds
into the living room where my father,
swaddled in his white sheets,
was reaching up for the curtains
that kept the sun off of his face
and the worried look of our
neighbors out of our minds.
Then, there was the feel of his skin,
lacquered with sweat, burning from the night’s
delusions, as I pulled him onto his tumorless side
so my mother could reach over his body,
untangle his frail bones from the bed,
snap apart the straps and in one motion
removed the soiled diaper just as she had done
for her two sons so many years before.
We mixed the powder, like falling smoke, and cream
from an industrial size tube, their separate
smoothness coming together for tender
bed sores full of chaliced redness.
A kiss to his forehead, then we’d retreat
to the narrow bathroom
where I'd sit on the green toilet seat 
hands folded, head bowed, waiting,
while my mother stood at the small sink,
running bubbles of soap between her fingers
like beads from a rosary.


BIO: Eric Arthur Loya is currently a student working for a Bachelor's Degree at CSULB while taking creative writing classes at Long Beach City College. He hopes one day to be a published novelist and poet and continues to enjoy meeting dedicated writers who inspire his creativity and passion.