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

 

 

 

 

The Mirror

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The Mirror

I look back
My eyes jump, dart, make every effort to look away
From  the chain of our DNA
Sitting here in the polar cold
It is time, while there is still time

Fingers frozen, numbed by the January winds
Blowing up through the hundred year old pane of glass
I pause my own poetry
Raise the mirror that shows me more, of her and me
And of our love for poetry

And with my nose, whose tip is cold
And with my fingers fighting hard to write
I fight back
At war no more
With the past

Warmed by old words I may have read
But never truly heard
I raise high my white flag
And rest my eyes, in peace on the page which holds years of her steady work with words

The echo of her heart and mind, mirror image of bits of me
For she penned words of beauty, in the back of her chapbook
Beside the photograph of her
Beaming bright, dressed in canary
Her color, not mine
Before dementia came and stole so much
I could close my eyes and swear
Swear, these words were mine
But I would not take, what is not mine
But she has given me, parts of her
I swear

“She takes delight in emptying on paper an
image that haunts her and carving it until
its beauty and truth emerge. Only then
does the poem speak.”

I could close my eyes and swear