The sun set over the Hamptons that night, A golden egg cracked into the ocean, We napped on the beach. Goose bumps. Wrapped tight, Warm blanket. Waves. Shared ear buds. She sang solely for us sitting so comfortably on the precipice of forty. If only we had known this would be the best day, we could have begged the dripping sun to stay afloat but then we would have always known the sun will never rise as high or shine as brightly as it did. Each day a slow erosion of the New York coastline, degradation of the mind. Please remember— even when I don't—our summer in September.
i miss the way we used to garden. when all of our worries were the weeds and fallen petals. i miss the way you used to speak french. so soft, and perfect. it excited me to learn all you knew. i miss the way you watched antique shows every morning, and i'd watch them with you even though they bored me. i miss the way you read your penguin books as i lay next to you on days when i was sick. i miss the way you used to talk. i miss the way you used to know me.
Keeper of time Has lost his mind. He no longer ticks. He sighs. He questions. He swears a little. Does he know who he is? Not precisely. I tell him he's a law, a sage, a determiner. He's even the reason I get up in the morning. He says he'll get back to me. When? I ask. Ah, there's the rub...
So many things I've said. So much i have left to say. But I don't think I have enough time to find the words that keep getting lost along the way. Don't be afraid if I forget who I am today because I still remember who we were yesterday. I remember the nights by the fire with a bottle of wine. I remember the the day you said you'd be mine. I remember all the years we were young, wild, free. I remember all the dreams we had of how great our kids' future would be. I remember the love. I remember the fights. I remember the summers on the island watching the fireworks light up the night. Even if it doesn't show, there's one thing I need you to know. I remember
i wrote this for my aunt who has struggled with my uncle's fight with alzheimers
I watch you **** on long, gnarled fingers With short, clipped nails No color. You pull them out of your mouth One at a time with a subtle but emphatic pop One Two Three and Four 'Round and 'round Thumbs perhaps, but pinkies never Other times you juice the corner or a small white washcloth with your saliva
I watch you look at the window Unwavering in your attention Focused straight ahead, Your chair is turned so that e can all sit together In the common room.
Dad wants to leave As soon as we've arrived He'd say something wildly odd to what had been his wife of fifty years, like 'What's up?' or 'Howryadoin'?' Something impossibly dumb As if he would've ever said such a thing To you In Real Life. Now pandering for some predestined response Or a cozy yet bewildered glance of surprise or perhaps a vague familiar girlish smile The one you wore when he first met you. But we both know that those days are long gone.
I watch you as you face The bright Valley sunshine The yellowing grass The trimmed hedges The cement blocks that maintain these locked-down Premises. But what do you see? Were there any little birds, As I no longer can remember?
Do the multitudes that comprise a random cosmos approximated by optimistic formulae Although imperceptible to Dad and I, Dance just for you? Does it share with you sweet confidences and miracles? Promises and Reassurances! I'd like to think that, but I have my doubts Your face Your eyes Show no such delight.
There as a time when you were always delighted And too, there was a time when you wanted to escape with a sly "So where are we all going next?"
Dad grows more uncomfortable But its alright I can sit here by your side I tell him 45 more minutes I wear a watch for just this sort of thing although he's ready to bolt This Disease His Love A Mystery before him Despite his Science, Gone.
Me? I'm fine For I have lost nothing. I look around the common room The patients are set up Round like a clock.
At 11pm lay the catatonic Flat Staring motionless faces up to the ceiling In recliners. Peaceful. Accepting.
At 1pm are those who can still sit at a table with minimal supervision and eat or read a four color full bleed spread in a fashion magazine upside down Just like in the old days.
At 4pm sit the difficult, flighty ones with aides to feed and wipe their faces of soggy gruel and fruit pulp Obstinate Rude Incorrigible And prone to choking.
At 6:30 the piano sits alone against a far wall Abandoned yet prepared Not slighted in the least. Do you believe that angels can swarm?
We three sit together at the 9pm table your other companions silent Not playing cards or Sudoku Nor reminiscing about a forgotten past By way of some forgotten language Inevitably, they will disappear with no explanation never returning And the new ones will take their places days later Silent still Always silent In our little Corner.
The clock, it moves like fateful musical chairs. It has an intelligence It is a system of management. The designations, a terrible prognosis encircling like a snake towards your final hour Which may be after 4 or perhaps 11? This is a Map of Demise.
What turned you into a 9pm because your weren't always? We arrived at this table from some place else Although from where I'm not at all sure anymore It seems they moved you around a lot And I have been watching you closely. I fear that the hour hand is not your ally. The minutes hand, neither. I look out the window with you. And I wonder when the time will come For you to rest in the white naugahyde recliners Motionless and Unbothered. Accepting. But I do not expect you to make it past this hour. Would someone tell me please what does it really mean to be a 9pm on this clock?