She felt herself slipping away. Nerves frazzled. Lashing out. Pieces of herself seemed to be missing. She couldn’t remember where she used to live – she just knew this wasn’t it. She remembered taking the train to work, having a nice big desk with an ink blotter. She wore hats to church. And gloves too. Now she was in some kind of housedress, sitting in a room with people she didn’t know. Well, maybe that one over there. She looked familiar. It’s like being inside a Chinese puzzle box. But just your head. Someone gave her a poetry book today. Or yesterday? “You will love again the stranger who was yourself.” She got that. Her body was a stranger attached to legs. Her brain was across the room in the orange sherbet jello mold. Those cream cheese curds. I’m the stranger. To you and me.
Prosery written today for dVerse where Kim is hosting. Prosey is a new form for dVerse and prompts appear every second or third Monday. We are given a line from a poem, in this case “You will love again the stranger who was yourself” from Derek Walcott’s poem Love After Love. We must include the exact line in a story (prose) of 144 words or less. Photo from Pixabay.com
Mind stalled, synapses off kilter
gait pained by age and atrophy,
he swings a chalk bucket
as we walk our weekly walk.
Stopped to watch scurrying ants
he stoops, putting chalk to sidewalk.
Hopscotch numbers beyond his grasp
he draws a simple sun, one cloud.
Standing, he pats my face
grins at me, then bends again.
Clutching pink chalk, draws a string
attached to one pink balloon.
Chalk tossed aside, he lowers himself
shifts bony frame uncomfortably
until he is perfectly placed,
as if holding that pink string.
Eyes tight shut, he lies still
floating in his muddled mind,
beside the cloud and sun.
And I smile wistfully.
I picture him a young boy
spent from playing tag,
drawing this sidewalk scene
lying down just like this . . .
then jumping up to run away,
an entire life in front of him.
Not bumbling to recognize me,
needing a helping hand.
My nephew posted this photo of his son quite some time ago on FB. I loved the photo and asked permission to use it some day on my poetry blog. This little boy is a wonderful bright, lively and imaginative child! I went to a place with this poem that I wasn’t expecting.
Posting for OLN (Open Link Night) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today that famous guy from Sweden, Bjorn, is still revelling in the summer solstice season and Sweden’s advancement in the World Cup!
She coddled me.
Me but a young thing,
slip of the wisp.
Pampered my almost every wish.
Lately ‘tis inside out.
She, skeletal slip of the wisp.
craving coddled touch.
Lipstick smeared wide,
with vacant eyes.
Lit by absent apparition.
Quadrille written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where the word prompt is “coddle.” Quadrille: poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Fictional poem, but all too true for so many.
Measured as the crow flies,
she sat across the room.
In synapses and cognition,
she was light years away.
I was a flower
dew drop petals waving to the sun.
I was tall. Hopscotched on chalk
balanced one foot, then two.
I am brittle sans bloom.
Roots slowly rot,
losing ground to this horrible disease.
Today is brewing, steeping.
Clouds blur within my head.
Grass pricks feet like shards
or linoleum with eyes.
They’re supposed to be on faces.
And that song, Tiny Bubble, goes with a ukulele.
It’s yesterday again, or Tuesday tomorrow.
I shall pad to the upstairs water closet.
Run ocean waves until steam rises like fog
and drains clog with long dulcimer hairs.
I will slip under the sea
to become an anemone.
No one can miss me.
Because i have not been here
for a long long time.
They were left behind
like empty carts in a now empty parking lot.
Once touched, then guided by sure hands
doing for others, sometimes in steady sun,
or picking up the pace in life affirming rain.
They weathered storms until they could not.
And now they sit, in that mawkish pool of wet,
that sickening smell of decay.
They sit in a place where no one comes,
drowning in their memories.
Photo by Janet Webb. Written for the incomparable Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers where we’re asked today, to respond to Ms. Wolf’s photo in 100 words or less. Word Count: 71. Rochelle: please excuse the free verse rather than fiction today!
We didn’t notice at first. She’d misplace keys. Or forget to call.
Once the diagnosis came, I used to take her in the back yard with a coloring book and a box of sixty-four crayons emptied into a bowl. She used the crayons gaily. To color and for digging in the dirt. Always the brightest colors. Lines were immaterial. She colored with sheer exhuberance.
Slowly, the colors changed. Two-fisted brown sharp edged lines filled page after page. And then I found her, staring straight ahead. Coloring book upon a rock, no sign of her upon its pages. And I knew.
Flash Fiction (100 words) written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers. Photo prompt from Kent Bonham. For a recent poem I’ve written on the subject, read Dementia.
Memory spiders twirling thoughts.
Nurse-white whisper shoes
sidle by. Clocks in freezer
stopped time when I knew me.
Thawed too fast, so they came
in loud tapping shoes.
And we danced ourselves into lucidity,
spotlight shining bright.
I remember tomorrow
like it was yesterday.
Quadrile 1 for dVerse Pub for Poets. Word count 44, using a form of the word dance – as in dance into a condition.