Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Her mind forgot linear time.
Sometimes she's young, 
working in NY's garment district,
enslaved by it's demands,
"I must go. Gotta get to work." she says  
holding her purse, packed 
with a nightgown and the TV remote control.

Other times she says she's 103.  Old,
tired but proud that life endured for so long.
Most times, she's simply not sure
of words, people or where she fits
living in flashes of past and future,
the present - a dream.

But there seems to be a knowing that goes beyond
the mind, recognizing life, 
relations and things better left behind.
I see this in her tenderness 
when she looks deeply in my eyes,
I feel it in the things she mentions
and those she (purposely?) declines.
Makes me wonder about life. 
Does it cling until it's worn
invisible garments torn to shreds
exposing its naked essence
as if to say, "Yes, this is me undressed."

Makes me wonder about death, 
patiently waiting for her, 
watching her work out  
whatever needs
to unravel within.

She lingers in the center of her universe,
I linger in mine.
Neither one of us understands.

(Submitted to Dverse Poets.)

I haven't been around much.  Family and others all came to say goodbye to mother-in-law.  Been so busy.  But m-i-l is still here.  Seems to actually be getting better.  Life and death know no balance, they love surprises.)


  1. I am sure she must be working out all that needs to be worked out. Perhaps we will all work out things in our own way when the time comes. It seems, with people with dementia or Alzheimers, that they work things out more visibly to others. Perhaps the rest of us work things out more in our minds...dunno. But I do know how difficult it is to be in YOUR position, probably more difficult than in hers.

  2. i'm sorry to hear this...hugs myrna... it's not an easy time you're going through and really wishing you loads of strength....good to see you writing and in the pub today... let's have a cup of tea....smiles

  3. heavy...made me think of the passing of my MIL...she was so frail and gnarled toward the end...it was not her....and there was nothing much left....hard to watch.....heavy piece for me...

  4. Myrna, this was a powerful write. Loved the relationship you built up, the close watching and attention to detail only to know that you cannot know this woman--"This me undressed." Really strong. >KB

  5. So painful...made me think of my loved ones. So hard. Sorry.

  6. Powerful. So well expressed! Deep.


  7. This makes me sad.. yes many of us are touched by this...

  8. Beautiful. And I firmly believe that linear time is often NOT the best way of looking at life, at love...

  9. So hard to watch a loved one fading away ~ Very moving write ~ Sending hugs to you ~

  10. An amazing thought to me, but rings so true - that our lives wear out like thin, worn, frayed garments that leave our essence exposed and shining at the end. Fantastic, Myrna!!!!!!!! I am sorry about the stress your family is under right now.......but know your mother in law is fortunate to be so well loved and accompanied.

  11. p.s. Watched two WONDERFUL movies this past weekend on the same topic - one, called Unfinished Song, with Vanessa Redgrave was especially poignant and transformative - about old age, and the possibility of joy. Also Still Mine, about an elderly couple, the woman slipping into Alzheimers.........both fantastic. You'd love them.

  12. This is a very difficult and honest piece of work. The pain of watching someone we love disappearing more and more every day. Two of my dear aunts have alzheimer's. Such a painful disease to witness.

  13. Not easy at all, hard every time

  14. Such a tragedy to lose one's memories.


  15. This one hit home . . . its always hard watching those we love in that transition. Powerful, emotional piece that gave me a lump in my throat.

  16. Wow. This is very, very powerful.

  17. So beautiful, Myrna. You truly have a gift for writing. Whenever I read your works of art, I'm filled with wonder and admiration for you. (Also, I know you're going through a difficult time. Please remember to take care of yourself, too.)

  18. Sending love and tenderness to you and your family Myrna... love and tenderness as pure as that which allowed you to express what you are witnessing and feeling so beautifully, so kindly in your poem.

  19. Myrna,

    So sorry that sorrow has been with your world again. It seems not so long ago that your mother passed away also.
    Your poem links well into my own life, and the life of my auntie, who is also in an other world with memory loss. A slow walk towards leaving us behind in many ways.
    I shall say a prayer for you Myrna:)

    PS: My new Blog is called My Poetic Parlance http://mypoeticparlance.blogspot.co.uk

  20. Am sure this was difficult to write but you describe what you witness so well. Sad, bittersweet.

  21. Your comment at the end of this poem made me think of my great-uncle. So many times the nursing home called to say it was time, and family would come down. Sadly, there were enough of these calls that people stopped coming and none did when the time came. He and I were alone in his room with his departed wife's Bible....Life is amazing. I don't think life lets go; we do. And when it's time, the letting go is a sweet and very private and personal thing. Your poem is very beautiful.

  22. Yes you can never tell...women are so very strong. Beautiful poem...besotted by the lines
    'Does it cling until it's worn

    invisible garments torn to shreds

    exposing its naked essence

    as if to say, "Yes, this is me undressed."'

  23. just thought i'd stop by to wish you a happy saturday... you joining us for some halloween fun in the pub..? smiles