You look at your bewildered face in the mirror, knowing
or, maybe not knowing
you are powerless to decide the day, to
find your keys and lock the door behind you
to drive to the store for a quart of milk
I took your keys away, remember?
angry and confused you said, “damn it
so you’re one of them now too, huh?”
You shook your cane at the doctor, though
I don’t blame you; he talked of
your condition as if you weren’t in the room, as if
old men everywhere weren’t already shelved with
their curling blank pages, yellowed
and much too brittle to touch
But we exist outside the circle of drooling incognizant men
Dad, don’t we?
You empty your closet, piling all your clothes and shoes on the living room floor and with a grandiose gesture and eyes peeled skyward you announce in your best voice “I am coming home.”
You would have thought it funny how my little boy, he tried to die once.
He lay down on the sofa and shut his eyes, every twitch and flinch controlled
stiff as he could make it, but his sweet breath kept rising and falling and rising.
Mom, I can’t do it. I can’t be dead, he said.
The way you looked at me at the lake when I was ten, hair in a long braid down my back following a trail through gold colored beach grass, heads tipped back and laughing, watching the seamless flow of clouds my hand so small in yours
on a hook behind the bathroom door.
Exactly what is the next grand becoming, shuffling across our blood-fired paths?
0 thoughts on “BECOMING”
You've described becoming in a way we can feel right through to our bones.
I'm glad it resonates the way I'd hoped. Thanks, Kathy
Oh, my Lord. You captured so perfectly the last five years with my mom, right down to the drug-induced ICU psychosis where she demanded her car keys. We laughed, later. She didn't remember it, nor the golden retriever who was living under her bed.
And then, there's "I'm going home". She nearly accomplished it during her last hospital stay. In ICU again, she pulled off every monitor, pulled out every IV, put them neatly on her bedside table, picked up her Werther's butterscotches, and headed for home. She would have made it, too, had it not been for the catheter.
The first two times I read this I couldn't comment. Too many tears. It's funny – after two years I thought the grief was gone. But no – just the right words can bring it back. Thanks.
Oh, Linda. I am so sorry for your loss. Takes years of tears. Taking away one's mode of transportation is yanking one of the last real freedoms a person has. My dad would part the curtains and look at his car longingly, when he was no longer able to drive it. And then the suspicions when it had to be sold. So happy to share this with you, thank you.
Excellent capture of the moods and moments of aging and dying…..and of course the beautiful matching pictures that are perfection. Your words take us there, your pictures take away the pain.
Thank you for taking a thoughtful look. Appreciate your comments!
Beautiful post. My Dad always said he was going home. He insisted on it during our last phone conversation. He passed away a week later. So I guess he was right in a way. I hope your dad is doing well. It's never easy to watch your loved ones age.
He passed shortly after. I think people actually know in their hearts what will happen next, though it's hard to fully accept…