Monday, 15 May 2017

Bruised



I.

She no longer knows voices on the phone
you had to say your name last time you called
faced with a blank pause - this too a milestone
of growing up and away and growing old.
A tremor perhaps, but quickly controlled
and the conversation curled but went on -
reset somewhere in the depths, overhauled
minds and meanings, the smallest shifts unknown.


Years knit up things and years unravel too -
the threads meshed together day after day
till the weave’s a habit you’ve slipped into;
but one thread snags, it all stops running true
and puddles at your feet, whichever way
you go on, the knot’s formed, and it’s here to stay.






II.



You wish the memories were yours to choose
and keep in a glass vase like bunched orchids.
As she loses her bearings you too could lose
the high recall of tremors and get rid
of the blanks in telephone calls, and visits
when she asked your name, but the residues
chafe under your eyelids like sand and grit
and the orchid’s face twists into a bruise.


That’s all you have in your hand to display -
some bruised flowers, the colours imperfect.
You can choose just the vase, don’t have a say
in the composition of that bouquet
fresh or faded, the long stems whole or wrecked,
the deviant petals not yours to correct.




Double dose and regular forms today, as least as regular as I can get - 2(8x6). Last month I met an elder with Alzheimer's - it's a difficult disease for the victim, for the caregivers, even more so when they are family members taking care of sick elders without any support far away from home. Last month also we had the local poetry festival, which I don't think I've mentioned.  We did, had great fun there too, I presented two of mine. Read and/or view.




36 comments:

  1. Alzheimer's is one of the cruelest illnesses isn't it? For everyone. The person you knew/the person you are slipping inexorably away, leaving a shell which needs care. A shell which mimics the person who is gone. Your sonnet leaves painful tears pricking at my eyes, and gratitude for your mastery.

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    1. It's very cruel that the freshest memories we have of a loved one should also be the least orchid-like.

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  2. Your poem creates a vivid image. I haven't had to deal directly with anyone in full-blown Alzheimer's, but I'm starting to wonder about a few people I know. So far they are all pretty lucid though and that is good.


    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I hope they remain lucid all the way. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Alzheimer's is a cruel ending. You have done an admirable job capturing it. But I had a neighbor that a school will never forget the work he did for it.

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    1. I hope he, and the rest, find a cure!

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    1. In which case the sonnets have done their job. Thanks.

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  5. Hi Nila - I was lucky with my mother and her BIL - they both had their wits ... but I came across others who were in a much less fortunate position ... I was glad with my situation ... well written poem ... saying it like it is ... cheers Hilary

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    1. That's something to be truly grateful for...I've had family members suffer from it too, now deceased and freed, it's painful for all concerned.

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  6. That's always such a sad situation for all involved. And frustrating.

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    1. Can't imagine what it's like doing it completely on one's own without any other family support, in a foreign country.

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  7. Very heartbreaking poem. You captured the feeling for both sides Excellent job

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    1. Thanks. It is a horrible situation to be in

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  8. The thought that I might someday be diagnosed with Alzheimer's scares me. A lot. I think you captured the situation very well in your poem.

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    1. Heaven forbid. Wish you health and peace.

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    2. By the way, thanks for the link to the video! Now I know what you look like. ;-)

      By the way, I just posted a strange old poem of mine on my blog. I'd love your feedback.

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    3. And I have no idea why I wrote "by the way" twice!

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    4. You've been reading too much grammar! :D Delighted to hear about the poetry - off to check it out directly!

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  9. Think you captured very well the feelings, many and varied: hope, fear, love, helplessness.
    Caneyhead: My Handsome Man

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    1. I've seen both my parent's generation and my contemporaries suffer the ramifications of this disease...thanks.

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  10. what can i say about your poem except that I am going to visit and re-read it many times over .
    I had watched a movie called "still Alice" - a painfully true depiction of the disease.
    Best wishes,
    Moon
    https://aslifehappens60.wordpress.com

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    1. The film on Iris Murdoch was very good too...

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  11. A poem to make us all stop and think about what happens as we get older and our nearest and dearest are faced with such battles as could we be in the future. Very hard hitting.
    Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

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    1. Chronic disease+old age is a scary place indeed..

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  12. Very poignant. It's a fear that lurks in the backs of all of our minds, isn't it?

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    1. I suppose it is...because losing control is possibly the scariest thing?

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  13. It's my greatest fear - loss of myself. It can come early, too - my former walking companion lost her sister to an early version and now I fear she has it, too.

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    1. Devastating for all concerned when it happens early. Saddened to hear about your friends.

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  14. I can only imagine what it must be like. It's something I've not come across - my mother is 90 today and she's still as bright as a button and far better at solving cross words than I! A moving and thought provoking tale.

    Click to visit Keith's Ramblings!

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    1. That is so heartening and nice to know! Wishing her the very best of health and happiness always, may she always beat you at crosswords :) Have a lovely day today.

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  15. I love the last line: the deviant petals not your to correct. That's brilliant. Alzheimer's is such a terrifying disease. The thought of losing yourself and regressing is more horrifying than something that debilitates you physically in some ways.

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    1. Every chronic disease is scary but this one probably the most fearsome. We can alter our situations only to a limited extent, we can't change those deviant petals. That is the truth.

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  16. poignant! hard but beautiful.

    joy at The Joyous Living

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