“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.” (CAH)
I am a shadow hidden by the shade
I watch her fade away
Why is it so clear to me
She wants to remember
It is beyond her now.
Thin and failing body
Lost and forgotten soul
A woman who had such a voice
Like thunder rolling in on a tropical storm
Is silenced by mortalities curse, age.
“We sold her house today.”
I remember when the house was alive
Breathing with a heart beating
The people that went in and out gave it strength
We were its life.
She would sway across the living room floor
“Dancing cheek to cheek…”
Laughing as she would plie’ into the kitchen
Green fades with beige and white
Blue like the couch, and black like the night
She is in my dream on the ground
I can not tell if she’s alive
She is face down into the gray carpet
I am running through the door
The faster I run the father away she is
I am hopeless
“I never meant to cause you trouble, I never meant to cause you harm…”
The dream is real
The danger is near
I am in the tempest of fear
I walk in and there she is
Radio is alive and she’s on the floor
Maybe this too is a dream,
Maybe I am insane?
No one believes me
“I am what I am, I’ll do what I want…I can’t hide…I won’t go...I can’t breathe..”
She is gone in the white van with lights
I am left lost
I know this is the beginning
Of the end.
In and out she goes
Where she stops no one knows
Nursing home, place, assisted living
All adjectives I am sick of
All lost their feeling
Locked ones unlocked ones,
Doors with locks but no key
My mind is a swirl
Why so many times?
Why so many places?
“You used to speak so easy…your afraid to talk to me….it’s like walking with the wounded… out there with the wounded… and were missing you…”
My life is a tempest,
I am the continent being battered
By the storm
My personal El Nino
“Sometimes it takes a long time for the candle to burn out… sometimes it takes a long time for the bird to fly the coup.” (CAH)
I sit there in the dark
Listening to her chat
She and I are from the same cloth
Same blood, same bone
We were on the same page always
But now things are different
The pages are ripped and torn
The book works backwards
Erasing words, thoughts, hopes
I race to read its contents
All that’s left is lost phrases to a song
In my mind I recall a time when we read it together
I am left to read it alone.
The book of life is mine to discover
I walk alone now on this road
With her notes in my head
And his words in my heart
Why can’t I replay time?
I wonder if the choices I make are right
Would they exclaim “Oh, NO!”
Would they say “it will be alright ?”
Time will tell for me
If this book is the one that will save me
Or damn me.
I fill its pages now with hope.
Notes from the Writer: The music mentioned above helped form the backdrop for this piece. In honor of CAH.
- Christmas in Killarney - Bing Crosby
- White Christmas- Bing Crosby
- Cheek to Cheek - Fred Astaire
- Trouble - Coldplay
- Here with me -Dido
- Wounded- Third Eye Blind
Published by Kaitlin Buckley