today at the home when we came in there were four women singing together in a room full of older people sleeping. they were singing words without music, "oh i want to go home now, but the water is too high, oh i want to go home now." their voices were old and out of tune and strange in the room following my mother to wake my dad who almost never looks up these days from the ground.
later my mom told me that the song was a song one of the women had written and begun singing to herself around the home for weeks. at church sermons in the home on sunday she would sing it instead of hymnals, though on the days outside of church she would steal the tune. in this way others began to pick the song up. now they sing it often in long loops.
later in his own room my father recognized the first thing i've seen him recognize without prodding in the last few times i've seen him, the brief prechorus of an old 60s soul song that goes "oh oh oh." he sang it as if he had been cued to join in, then went back to trying to put the cookie on the floor.