Halfway Melt
by Louie Crew

He has always chosen
butter pecan.

The two hard-frozen
huge scoops of Hag'n Das
in a cup surrounded by ice
still halfway melt
before my subway
reaches the hospital.

"He's asleep again,"
the nurse says
with a kind smile
when I reach his ward.

"I'll just leave this
on the table for him,"
I reply.

"But for three weeks now
he has not eaten the ice cream
that you have brought every night,"
she says, and gently adds,
"He does not recognize anyone.
You might make it easier on yourself
and not go to the bother.
He does not know you brought it."

"But I know," I mumble.

I know.

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