The Patient’s Name is AnnaMae – One A Week 2020

The Patient’s Name is Anna-Mae

The Midwest’s a big place and we was little fish
but a deputy’s a big man in a small town
and they called me The Deputy’s Wife

Nobody ever called me Anna-Mae before
Where is my husband?
Can I go downtown this afternoon? When did I eat?
I’m still here and I’m not stupid. The nurses are kind

My mother called me Dizzybelle
She told me there’s a boy out there, he’ll take your heart
She held me close as long as she could
My Dizzybelle, she’d say, you are the prettiest thing
You watch out for them boys down by the creek
This county’s full of no goods

Mother was glad I married a sheriff’s man
He and I had girl-children and they called me Mama
When they was cheeky and thirteen they called me Mama-darlin
Every livelong day I held them close, protected them
from creek boys and boys on bridges and boys in beat-up cars
Boys with golden promises in their mouths

Nobody ever called me Anna-Mae before
Where is my husband?
Can I go downtown this afternoon? When did I eat?
I’m still here and I’m not stupid. The nurses are kind

If they could take a look inside my head
they’d see a dozen hats trimmed with flowers for the church parade
and my daughters’ sweet small hands at prayer
and my husband’s shirts, ironed smooth as water in the creek
and endless love

Nobody ever called me Anna-Mae before
Where is my husband?
Can I go downtown this afternoon? When did I eat?
I’m still here and I’m not stupid. The nurses are kind

My husband called me honey, sometimes honey-child
and we was married young, you know
I’ve been wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend
A deputy’s a big man in a town and I married the deputy

Nobody ever called me Anna-Mae before
Where is my husband?
Can I go downtown this afternoon? When did I eat?
I’m still here and I’m not stupid. The nurses are kind

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