Ghost of She

This poem is meant to pose the question to the reader.. In the face of loss and despair over the death of a loved one do we become ghosts? What I mean by that is emotionally does the living become trapped in the past?  As ghosts haunt and revisit the places they once left and never move on does the living in its own reality plane do the same? Can both be ghosts? This poem is meant to challenge the ideal that to be a ghost you must be dead… I don’t think you have to be dead to be a ghost.

Ghost of She

My ritual walk begins
Down the path we used to travel
Blustery winds blow the tricolored leaves
I march on past the old fence gate
Creaking it swings to and fro
Loud crunching of leaves
Begins to cancel out my thoughts
Reaching the end of the road
Street lights flicker and hum
Turning to the right, from memory
Pavement old from wear
Crumbles and crunches under my boots
Seeing my mark
I slow to a stop
The house is vacant
Full of dark emptiness
Standing under the elm tree
Leaning on its branches
I wait patiently —
Chimes from the church begin
Ringing in the hour
A soft light appears
Glowing the once bedroom window
The light travels slowly, dutifully
Down the long hallway
Spilling into the void living room
That’s when I see her
Brilliant and white
A delicate face stares out the window
I watch her a moment
Resist the urge to wave
Slowly her features fade
Luminosity dims and vanishes
My walk back is long
Contemplating the reasons why
We both are ghosts
One living and one dead
But of the two —
Who is haunting who?

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Alzheimer’s (My Homage to The Wasteland)

   One of my favorite writers is T.S. Eliot. When I first read his classic The Waste Land I was stunned by the imagery and creativity that he used. The poem was like no other, and in my opinion it still is. His ability to collect thoughts, ideas, music, and memory in a written work made the piece a fascinating mosaic. In my personal experience, watching someone go through the maze of Alzheimer’s Disease is very much like The Waste Land. At first there is confusion and then a sense of clarity and understanding emerges.                            

   Part I

    She is scared

    She doesn’t know why

    So am I

    What lies in the shadows?

    I remember when she wasn’t so lost

    I wasn’t lost then

    I hold her hand in the dark

    But she can’t remember..

    

    “Did you get your money? I was always worried that you wouldn’t?”

     “Sometimes you just have to let them stew in their own juices,

     If that doesn’t take, then let them go.”

     I wonder if she will remember me?

     She forgets the names, faces, and places

     We are a collaboration of colors in her masterpiece

      I hope I am in green

      She is a shell of her former self

     And I grab on to her coat tails and go for the ride

    “How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the wagging tail?”

     “Maybe you should write a story about it, and then read it to me?

       I said “I don’t want to, it will take forever.”

       “We all don’t have forever.”

       “I love the holidays it’s the only time that I feel my family is together, whatever family I have left that is.”

        I watched her in the doorway

        Eyes lit with unshed tears

        The tree was up and lit like always

        The ornaments her children had made

        And her children’s children

Part II

“Christmas in Killarney where all the folks are home…..”

      “I am dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones we used to know

     Where the tree tops glisten and children listen….”

        She has her hand against her chest in a sigh

         It is the tree of strength

          It is grandpa

         It is a monument to our family

         It reminds me of the years past

          She exclaims at last

         “It is the most beautiful tree I have ever seen, Kaite.”

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