Saturday, November 9, 2019

Scalpel, please

Part One
Scalpel, please. 
Open heart surgery.
Slicing into the inner core.
Touching some nerves.
Check my pulse,
I’m going in deep.

Part Two
Just let me cry my tears and move on.
Alzheimer’s walk
I don’t need the ceremony.
Just let me show up, walk,
Go home and cry.

I miss your voice
The grating tone you had
When you didn’t agree with me,
The hopeful tone
When you asked how I was doing.
The cadence, tambre, and tone.
The softness.

I miss your eyes
The way your skin crinkled when you smiled,
The wonder they showed when you watched
Dance, theater, gymnastics,firewalls
The way they narrowed when I said something wrong.

I miss hearing you talk about politics,
Opinionated and passionate.

I miss seeing you sitting at the table
Reading the newspaper
Sitting in your chair
Reading a book
Siting on the piano bench
Playing your favorite songs
Sitting with kids
Reading a book
On the floor
Playing, smiling.

I am so much like you.
In a room of grown-ups
I feel like I don’t belong
In a room full of children
I feel like this is where I should be.

So much like you,
My hair is thinning,
But my calves look great.
My skin is wrinkling
My laugh and frown lines
Are always there.
I see them when I look in the mirror
And they remind me
That I have had a lot of ups and downs in my life
And that I am still alive.
Physically, mentally, I am still here.
I worry, I celebrate
I get angry, sad, reflective, silly, happy.
I try not to hate,
I look for the grain of good 
That you taught me is in everyone
I love,
And I try not to feel hurt
When I’m not loved back
Or the love sn’t shown the way I need it to be.

I am so much like you.
Even though I didn’t want to be.
I wanted to be more loving,
More understanding,
Less judgemental.
Maybe I am. 
Maybe I’m not.
What I am is a work in progress
Proud, strong,
Doubting, soft,
Caring and willing to sacrifice for others.
I want to make the world a better place.
I want my children to be good people.
I want to be loved and remembered.
I don’t want to be you.
But I still want to make you proud.

You always said your favorite color was blue.
The color of Delft.
But today your color is purple
A remembrance of how you slipped away,
Before I was ready to stop talking and dancing with you,
One day, the conversation stopped.
You were there
But no words could come out.
All I had were your eyes
Did you know who I was?
That thought hurt.
What hurt more was the look in your eyes
Questioning and confusion.
Sometimes it looked like fear.
And you being you,
It never looked like resignation.
No, you were not the kind of person to give up.
And neither am I.
Thank you for that.

And now I will walk.
Two miles.
Not much of a challenge for me.
It’s symbolic.
I’m not sure what you would think about that.
You’d probably rather that I do something more significant.
Like write you a song or poem.
Or finally cry.
And show the world that I am human.