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Life Song Day Twenty #OctPoWriMo October 20, 2017

October 20, 2017


Life Song

Lifetimes ago I took time to heal
from a dream derailed by a man’s
inability to give love without hurt
and though my heart could never be new again
time passed and I met another man
a kind man who settled gently into my life
like dandelion down

no more days of motorcycles
Mexican adventure
intense joy
inevitable pain

now the rise and fall was more like breath
build a company, watch it die
move on, another try
careers, our band
all merged into our life song
steady comfortable drone
below the onward happy notes
that were our children

children so soon gone
to sing their own life songs
and their happy notes
though muted by distance
became separate melodies

then below life’s comfortable drone
a new tone
discordant, wrong
his trembling fingers, no longer sure on the keyboard,
we ordered a vibraphone
his breath weakened, an oxygen concentrator
a brace to hold his head up from his chest

but nothing fixed the fear in his eyes,
as nonexistent children appeared
his hallucinations filled our home

dementia, I dread you more than anything

even more than the serpentine coiled guilt
decisions regretted,
doubts if I could have done more

his pain ceased seven years ago
but time has its own breath
expands to allow happiness
a hike with the dog, dinner with friends

again by his bedside
his last breath

  1. Fred died from complications of Parkinson’s Disease on October 21, 2010

  2. Dear, dear Barbara. This poem makes me feel such love, such pain, self-doubt, and renewal. Renewal twice. Thank you for the gift of this poem. I love these lines: “now the rise and fall was more like breath” and “but time has its own breath”. xoA

  3. Millie McCoo permalink

    Beautiful.  I am covered with chill bumps!!!

  4. Carrie Danielson permalink

    Beautiful. So raw and honest. Publishable but that’s beside the point. It’s a gorgeous poem

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. A beautiful ode. And much more.

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