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What I Fear Most

February 13, 2020

What I fear most
is a lack of collaboration
mind, body,
spirit, if it exists,
bowing out at different times

Dad did it right
sang to me
the day before he died
mind still clear
walked and talked
and only lay down
to give us a heads up
it was time to say
so long

I fear being unable to
walk or talk
when my mind is sharp
unable to say,
I love you
Take care of each other
Feed the dog
Think I’ll die now

Or worse
fogged forgetfulness
to grieve my missing mind
not knowing if the person who says
“I love you, Mom,” is really my child
or an imposter
To strike out in anger and frustration
at visitors who don’t want to be there
or the caregiver who changes my diaper

I fear wanting to die and being kept alive
I fear lingering until friends and family
hate themselves for contemplating murder
I fear there will be no compassionate partner
to pull the plug

What I fear most
is a lack of collaboration.


First published in Chachalaca Review


From → Poetry, Uncategorized

  1. This is a great one, Barb. Made me cry.

  2. You did great, Barb! I loved hearing your voice and your dramatic interpretation of this fabulous poem. Your poem speaks for many of us. xoA ❤

  3. Melissa Donegan permalink

    Hi Barbara,

    I know you don’t know me, but my name is Melissa. I found a letter from your father, Paul Weeks, in a book my parents got from a yard sale years ago. I randomly opened the book last night and the neatly folded letter fell out from behind the inside cover! It’s addressed to you from your father, Paul Weeks and dated June 1, 1965. I would love to be able to get the letter back to you, because I feel like it’s such a special thing to find! I have attached my email, so please reach out when you get this!

    I hope you are doing well and I look forward to hearing from you!


    • Hi Melissa. Thank you for reaching out. I loved my father’s letters and that would have been my first year away at college. I can’t see your email, but will try to find you another way. Maybe Facebook? Thank you.

    • I am Barbara Weeks Huntington on Facebook. Just found several Melissa Donegans so don’t know if one is you.

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