Avalon Valley Rehabilitation
by Deja Earley
Skin cancer grows on her temple,
black and wavy, like barnacles.
A nurse in purple scrubs feeds her coleslaw
while my father bustles like a new dad.
He explains the difference between her cell phone
and the remote, folds a sweater, jams a paper clip
into the frame of her glasses. I perch on a wheelchair,
looking away, rubbing the soft inside of my sleeve.
Deja Earley’s work has previously appeared in Irreantum, Brooklyn
Review, and Lilliput Review, and is forthcoming in a half-dozen other
publications, including Dialogue, Blue Mesa Review, and Standards.
She has received honors in several writing contests and an Honorable
Mention from the Academy of American Poets in both 2003 and 2004.
Earley is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University
of Southern Mississippi.
On “Avalon Valley Rehabilitation Center”:
During a Christmas vacation to my parent’s house in Utah, we
visited my father’s aunt in her small room at the Avalon Valley
Rehabilitation Center, a rest home. This poem came out of that
experience. It originally ended with the detail of my aunt’s
television playing Legally Blonde. I could hear the movie echoing
out of other rooms, spilling out into the hallway. The poem
sparked when I considered the grim contrast between the bodies
on TV and the bodies in beds.
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 2, Number 2
Copyright © 2007
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors