The Nursing Home Place Where Life Circles Round And People Cry

The Nursing Home Place Where Life Circles Round and People Cry

It has the word farm in its name making it sound like a rural utopia
Window frames hold mountainscapes in their crosshairs
Norman Rockwell comes to mind until I wake up
She screams like a child in the throes of night terrors
She cannot escape her past
We cannot escape her
We sit in a puddle of her past tears
She is gone but I can touch her

I would leave but the one I love lives here
The food has turned to mush
I remember the jars of baby food
Hers and mine
The circle of life comes to mind
She hated cliche more than I
But show me where the circle may be broken
And I will choose my words more carefully
The rocking and mumbling form the soundtrack of their lives

The hallmark of this place is The Hallmark Chanel
And you can’t measure the height of irony
All the happy endings, screen upon screen
Every love story that was ever written
Punctuated by Walmart commercials crossing the t’s
And January Toyotathon’s dotting the i’s
As every story is neatly sewn up
God get me out of here
For the love of her and all those to her left and right
I simply cannot leave
Weeping is my leaving

I lie when I tell her my tears are happy
She is confused by them
For the love of all that is decent I cannot lie, I cry
(And stretch the truth about the happy tears
There is a co-mingling, of truth and falsehoods)
Right along with the rest of those in the circle
When death stares you square in the face
Even the blue ridged mountains cannot console a grievous soul
Who came to visit
Refused to leave
Refuses to entertain the thought of entering this reality, as if she would have a choice
We can mute the boob tube
But not the continuous coming and going
Of givers of care
And diapers and sippy cups for octogenarians and nonagenarians

We leave with all the passion of a foxhole conversion
Committing to the next visit
Dragging our pain right out the heaving swinging door
Into the chill of the night
Free as a new parolee
Free to love from far away
Free to leave the circle of life and death

Into a world where people cry

 

 

 

 

Dear Me, Dear You

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Dear Me, Dear You

I heard your news
Third hand
Softened some of the sting of the blow
I would weep
But I am saving my tears
Rationing them
As if there are not enough for the coming monsoon of grief

Age is cruel
Until it is not
We would be wise to remember the softening
Age has given us
Glory-filled awe
If lines could be drawn in the sand
Of where it can go
But no further
We’d let the disease you have
Have some things to destroy

In sort of a death-defying feat of high stakes negotiating
We’d lay down some of our Isaacs
But hold fast to some of our others
Cloning the sacrificial lamb
For more currency
For the wheeling and dealing with death’s cruel march

Let’s say this
In harmony

How bold in its irony
How cruel in its choice

To take your ability to write your name
I weep with you
Willing to let my tears go
The ones I am hoarding
Let them fall on the fire and put out the flame
Memories burning to ash

I will cherish the places your wrote your name
The thing you cannot write
Any more
In the letters
What nonsense we all thought it
When I, the pack rat, the prophet, the foreteller
Somehow knew
We should save the letters you wrote

Those places where you signed your name

And I will try to write
The words that you cannot

Dear me
Dear you

Waxing In The Waning

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I have not sought the moon this Spring. Intentionally looked up and made mental notes of its stage and size. Cycle and rhythms. Dimness and brightness. Color and stage. But I should be. Marking and noting. There are lessons there for me in the heavenlies.

Rather I have been looking down and to the side. Over and under the small spaces. Seeking the growing. Cataloguing the seed, the bloom and the fruits of the earth and of the the sea. Miniscule milestones in the garden and broken pieces of shells coughed up by the sea. Roughed up and beaten up and then honed into the beautiful.

Waxing in the waning is a banner over my life. Growing in the dimming. Increasing in the lessening. Smallness is wearing her beautiful crown. She is royalty and majesty. The paradox is grand. The center is a whisper, faintly wooing with her call to pause in the now.

I live on the cusp of exploration. Steps from the salty marsh where so much mystery hides in the folds. The waves weave a hiding place. The tides will unveil, pulling the curtain back for peaks. But stand guard, awake and present. Or you will miss much in the changing of the guard.

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The dolphin break through the glass ceiling that is the glassy sea. Looking at us as we  strain to study their graceful acrobatics. A day is labeled wonderful if we have spent time with a pod. Or even a mother and her young. We are students of the sea. Since I was a child, I have been near in my soul or body or both to the place of salty mystery. Everything is new. Again and again. I remain a child at the seeking of pieces of joy hidden, then revealed. Revealed and then hidden.

Before I even touch the snow pea to my lips I have savored goodness with my eyes. This is just the crescent. But the crescent is enough. The moon in all her fullness. The pea at her ripest, cooked or raw, eaten or not. Archiving the now, fully alive, fully awake fills us with His goodness. Seeing the holy moments. The holy in the moment. Touching and smelling. Seeing and tasting all that He has created brings us closer to the Creator. And that is where abundance is poured out. Every blade and seed, He made. Every dolphin nose. Wet and sleek.

There is a waning to my years. I do not recall the glory-filled details of much of my living from long ago. I come from Dementia. My mother, my grandmother and my aunt have known it too well. And I may be traveling toward Dementia. I may well be in the line of that fiery disease.

But I am going down fighting for a magnificent, magnified view of the poetic now.

And there is a moon and there will always be a moon. And she will meet me in the heavens tonight. This I know.

For now.

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Latin, Pooh and You

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Latin, Pooh and You

My what strong genes you have
Tethered am I to you
By DNA
Born into your love for Latin and Pooh
Child of nearly another, child
Your words came to you, then, started their great exodus
Early
Dementia is mastering the art of thievery
We’ve drawn swords
Suited up for the battle
We rise up in tandem
Fight it off and hold on to syllables, dim and faded
Stammering and garbled
Eloquent elocution, always
Grammatically correct until the end

I’ve accepted the passing, in the twilight, not the dawn
Complicated
But the baton is here
(I confide often, blush at my age, late blooming wanna-be poet,
Fighting off shame)

My what strong love you have
Leaving breadcrumbs, poetic syllables
In your life’s wake
Marking the trail
Leading me beside the still waters
Leaving our time by the raging sea
See
I have learned to listen
To poetry and you
And to love Flannery and her peafowl
(I named a Black Maran after you)
Some things you tend to forget
But these are branded into the everlasting
World without end
Amen
Pooh, Latin, poetry, and Maggie the Black Maran hen