Sunday, October 4, 2015

I Love You, Too

Her arms frozen, like leafless branches.  Her eyes focused, but only she sees.  Light as a feather.  Lifted.  Soaring.

Father pushes the swing
Mother smiles and claps
She gets the hang of it
From grimaces to grins and giggles.

Elevator music and her fingers wiggle.

Her first solo recital
A draw of her bow and a scrape across the violin strings
A scream or a song?
Her smiling parents in front row never been prouder

She’s loaded in back.  Bounces jostle her. Focused with her arms locked and on task.

Fixing her hair for the school dance
Little brother bumping her in the narrow bathroom
Both yelling to get out of the way
Mother shouting over them about how a lady behaves.

Gurney up the sidewalk.  Chilled from the breeze.

Sweating, exhausted and trembling
Her arms extending for her newborn
An unwed mother giving up to adopt
The nurse reminds, better to not get attached.

A car honk louder it passes and fades

She stands with him at his train
Their gold bands shine in the sun
A final goodbye
He’s off to Europe and the approaching D-Day

A yellow transfer form on the paramedic’s clipboard.  Sign here with the date.

Quaking sobs.
Can’t stop reading
The telegram confirms
He’s not coming home.

An aide stops them in the hall.  A stroke of her rigid arm and a smile.  "Welcome home, Miss Jenkins."

Reunited nearly a lifetime later
He’s found her at last
The son she gave up
Both hunger for "Mom".

Lifted into bed and one paramedic stays behind.  Her mind and body frozen, arms rigid and eyes stare beyond.  He sings so quiet and strokes her white hair.

Her son and his family
Gave her great years
They visit her often though she’s not there
Drifts out of focus and grabs what’s not there

The paramedic feels her calm
And kisses her forehead
“Hi Grandma”
Their eyes meet and they both smile.

“I love you.”

I saw paramedics wheeling a very old woman into a Memory Care facility.  Her mind and body weren't gone, they were just elsewhere.  I wrote this for her.