Day Thirteen, up-ended phrase prompt from NaPoWriMo:
“It's a kindness that the mind can go where it wishes.”
Depending on the kindness of strangers,
we leave he-for-whom-we-can-no-longer-
care safe and warm in senior housing where
caregivers console us before sending
us on our way. They know how to cope with
dementia and concurrent anger.
We are as confused as he, at home where
he dominated but now is no more.
Too fast. It happened too fast, and so we
all seek handholds in the empty wholeness.
Release means freedom if the mind can go
any when it wants, if the dead can live.
now finds it's his only hold on power,
that kindness is rewarded in kind, that
orders don’t work, that people no longer
fear him, that his domain has scattered like
money and words in the great northern wind.
Not just he—all of us find wealth to be
memories. We tell stories. We request
his tales “Why now?” he asks. “Dad died 20
or 50 years ago.” We want to make
up for lost time. We need to find topics
to broach safely, to show how much we love.
Day Twelve, haibun prompt from NaPoWriMo:
Rain threatened, but did not fall into the freezing spring of the Berkshires nor the muggy depth of the Hudson River. That would happen later, after nightfall. Sinus headaches, clenched fingers and fat drops of rain on the windshield heralded the storm. We headed west, heat blasting and windows fogging into the mist we knew so well in every season, but this one has moody impatience, as if all the countryside had enough of winter.
In the East, Dad’s latest
home receded as we drove
faster and faster.
Note: I disabled comments for April 2018, International Poetry Writing Month, because I am trying to write and post daily and experiment with prompts from other sites. If you wish to make specific constructive comments, I would be delighted to exchange emails. (Right click on email in my profile.) You can also leave comments on my facebook page where this poem is posted.
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© 2018 Susan L. Chast