Thanks to poet James Crews for sharing this beautiful and heartfelt poem by Sally Bliumis-Dunn, especially for any of us caring for our elderly parents:
by Sally Bliumis Dunn
in the dried fallen leaves along the path,
as when I speak to my old mother, and her eyes
widen for a moment then close.
She sits in her chair,
tweed jacket, well-coifed,
looking as she did in her day,
though now someone else must dress her,
lift the blouse from the hanger,
help her put it on,
the way she once did
for me. Grab the cuff, she’d say.
The soft tunnel of sleeve
would hold me.
Sometimes we sing.
She only vaguely mouths the words
though occasionally she’ll drift
along on a note like a leaf lifted by the wind
before it stills.
If I sit by her on the couch
she’ll put her head near mine,
my hand in hers.
Her body is how
she remembers now,
the way the growth of a tree,
the twists of the branches recall
the rain, the snow, the sun.
Poem copyright ©2018 Sally Bliumis-Dunn. Reprinted from Echolocation, Plume Editions/MadHat Press, 2018