11 March 2017

What to Hold and What to Let Go

Last Supper, miniature from a Psalter, c.1220-40

for Suzanne                                 

She couldn’t remember that she had affirmed in hours of morning conversing
     that she would finish her novel in March before writing poetry in April.

It was already 5 o’clock P.M. and she was scared she’d forget half her life.
     Illogical, really.  
     If she lost half, she’d probably forget to worry, too.

And I’ve been falling often of late, because it’s hard to be careful while having fun
     talking and walking with my friends. 
     We laugh because we share the same problem.

But I’m eager to know what happens next in her new book, so I’ll remind her.  And
     because we both fall down, we agree to walk slower and pay attention to our path.

She hasn’t fallen since back surgery, but she forgot green paper shamrocks were
     for St. Patrick’s day, and last month she said she never tasted pink candy sweethearts.

But she can tell me Easter stories and how Jesus ate his last Passover meal.
     Once, long ago, she played the role of bread at the last supper,
     begging Christ to Choose Her.

I think she was chosen, but not the way she might have planned.
     And what she forgets might be blocking stories waiting to be told. 
     I’m glad we share these years as we grow old.

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2017 Susan L. Chast


Therisa's World said...

Reading this poem. am filled with a sense of dark humour and sadness that dementia has robbed the person, that you're talking about, Susan. I know, I have blank spots, in my memory, but from different reasons, like depression and extreme violence, I have suffered, throughout the years. Do hope, this is a fictional write, and not base on reality, for you and your friend.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is a true and wonderfully supportive friendship. What a Gift of a Poem!

Mary said...

I feel joy in reading this poem, Susan.....as you recount your conversations and experiences with a friend. Sharing stories is just so important.

Martin Kloess said...

A wonderful recount of meaningful moments

Wendy Bourke said...

A touching write. Lately, I've given some thought to what I remember and what I forget. I find it fascinating, really ... the most innocuous little thing: as if it happened yesterday - and some great milestone accompanied by a whole lot of hoopla: not so much. I guess one's mind - or perhaps one's heart - has its own way of choosing.