A Triptych

heart bright in wood

One

It is a strange thing, your leaving
In increments
This slow fade, pains us
The dialing down and dialing back
I wish for your speedy recovery
That you would return to us
It is a strange thing, your leaving. like a dismantling
We are all coming apart at the seams
I never liked one thousand two hundred and fifty piece jigsaw puzzles
Now I like them even less
Pieces are missing from what I can see of you
This slow fade, pains me
I watched you leave us slowly
Someone took the big fat pink eraser to your mind
Long minutes of searching drag by
And you’re still unable to find that lost piece of your vocabulary
The elusive word “chipmunk” escapes
Cruel game of cat and mouse of the mind
But peace attends us in its mercurial way
In a blink we are somehow fine with it all
A fractured picture
It looks nothing now like the photo on the box
Somehow, it looks like this
It is how we are meant to be
Hinged to the past by ligament and thread
Bone and blood
I will be your memory
And you will always be mine

Two

August has come with her goodbyes
I count and recount
Pack mules on every corner
Of every street, the scene repeated
A stuttering and stammering of goodbye
A grand exodus of fallen leaves
And gardens burned past recognition
Once full of promise
Now the leaving has begun
Can you see me waving my hand in hope
Of what will come
I know a secret of these cycles
Spun round more than once
I know the story’s end
The one this Earth is writing

Three

I seemed to think you would remain
Laden with fruit
A freak, an anomaly
Bearing forever
Always dripping with abundance
Your branches
Like a run-on-sentence
No break in the chain of goodness
A train-wreck of the overflow
And last time I checked
You bore one, singular and sweet
A parting gift for your beloved
For that I am grievous
That it is over
The faucet stopped its once endless flow
I let myself think it would never end
For that
I am a fool in the shadow of your love

2 thoughts on “A Triptych

  1. I am guessing this is another remarkable tribute to the person you love who has Alzheimer’s. Oh, you capture it well. Good job, friend.

  2. I agree, I recognized Alzheimer’s. Elizabeth, truly, your dance with words mesmerizes me. It makes me stop. Breathe hard. Taste every morsel. Turn it and spin it in my brain. It is beauty wrapped in the English tongue, dripping like honey and holy milk. I don’t say this to flatter you. I say this to let you know how inspired I am to join the dance under a heavenly harmonic. Thank you!

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