Visiting my mother’s friend Marion
Who lived in a small apartment in the Bronx
With her husband Hyman.
He worked in the post office.
They had a little girl, Helen.
Helen had to stay in bed all day
Because she suffered from rheumatic fever
And her heart was weak.
I looked into Helen’s room while my mother drank coffee with Marion.
It was dark inside and humid
The venetian blinds were closed
Helen was lying in bed with the covers up to her waist
Her eyes were open.
I said hello and Helen turned her head
She said I have paper dolls
Do you want to play?
I said no
Paper dolls are stupid.
I walked back to my mother who after some time
Said goodbye to Marion
And we left.