I hardly recognize myself
This peculiar new sensation
and solemn conversation.
I have given up the alarm,
awake most of the time, or so it seems,
cataloguing thoughts from diminishing dreams.
Like Nano*, I search for words
Hidden among the gears of survival;
Something important to say
redeeming the effort spent,
the perfect words, my poem now final.
The night, the elusive words, the television glow,
The glass of water on the bed stand, the hiss of oxygen flow,
Have seizeed the evening hours.
The words grant me
morning’s respite from evening’s storm
observing the rituals
my caretakers perform
I doze agreeably in the company of their activity
They roll me this way, then that.
Still, there is work to be done.
My wife and the walker
And the trip to the bathroom are all enough.
The body in my bed
a stranger to me now
Tantrums like a child
Spits and shits;
the smell and mess
are no matter to me;
the clean linens and morphine
are not long,
and perhaps a nap
of unknown duration
time having no meaning,
Until the whole house slumbers
I wake to face the test
What words will close the circle
And grant my soul its rest.
Revised May, 2018
- Nano is the old poet in Tennessee Williams play and later movie, Night of the Iguana. He spends much of the movie searching for the final verse for his poem trying one thing and then another. Shortly after jubilantly announcing he has completed his poem, he dies.