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Sunday, August 25, 2013

They don't know


When they look into her eyes
and see confusion and fear
they do not know how those eyes once danced with merriment

Or that she feels betrayed by unsteady legs that once carried her 
running to school and even recently up stairs  
maybe to protest the 12 hours a day standing at work

That her voice now too quiet to hear
once embarrassed us with its volume
and also called us in from playing when darkness fell

How she could do math in her head
faster than my sister with her slide rule
and knew how a book would end from the first chapter

And so today I sort through the pieces
and wonder what is disease
and what is still  her

I smile at the day she slipped from her wheelchair to her knees
and quipped to the worker who asked her what she was doing 
 “I thought I would say a few words for you while I was down here”

And yet sadly today at the restaurant
she refuses to eat salad; she says
there are bugs in it just chomping away

I see that help is unsolicited and unwanted
and yet when it does not arrive
she is hurt by the lack of caring, of attention

Mom in summary
still the same complicated confounding
collection of all that is woman, that is present, that is her.

4 comments:

  1. Awww Mel...your mother is all of the above, a brilliant, witty, once hard working woman. Watching them grow old, and suffer physically and mentally, is difficult. I will always remember the quick witted woman.

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    1. Thank you Maria. Love to you and your Mom.

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  2. Beautiful prose. Touching imagery. And this line: “I thought I would say a few words for you while I was down here." So great. It says so much about her.

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    Replies
    1. I thought so too. They can take away her ability to walk but she still owns her sense of humor.

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