What makes the toilet paper damp?
I wonder, as I break a piece to wipe his mouth.
Propped up in bed, 
He's a vision in cloth and corduroy
on better days.
The plump white rolls sit on the radiator.
Steaming like soft chimneys. 

Ten years ago, 
he could have bared it.
Today, with hands in knots, 
it's not so easy
when he speaks in garbles,
and the froth of spit
graces a shoulder.
Well-wishers remain concerned, while wiping with a handkerchief
a little bit
But, they persevere. 
his words are not of lighter days,
or times he climbed a plastic slide,
likely at the age of thirty
just to reach his lover's 
lost stiletto.
he's forgotten?
I wonder as I sit with him
in his paper room
of paper lamps.

The world at his pajama feet.
Enjoying pillow's cold too much.
Now, he has all the grace of a merry Merman;
when the lampshade spots the ghosts
that sit under his eyelids.
And he winces,
when there's a weight placed lightly atop his head;
thinking it's some shoddy helmet,
from who knows where, 
or "what’s-his-name".

Though he has the knack
for soup and bread,
sometimes, the spoon 
akin to soap,
the lavender one he so despises,
shakes him loose
and makes me mop him. But,
Today I thought,
I'll hold his hand. 
When eating,
Maybe tomorrow
you never know.

I never did.

Outside, there is a dove.
Its grey reminds me of his hair.

© Eve Redwater 2012


14 thoughts on “Grey

  1. Now this, if I may say, is a little different to what I’ve been used to from yourself – yet no less striking. A very sad air, I think my favourite part is ‘Today, with hands in knots,/it’s not so easy/when he speaks in garbles,/and the froth of spit/sometimes/graces a shoulder.’ though all of it is moving, poignant, just how one really thinks of an elderly relative.

  2. Tragically good. A fine piece of work, although the end result of reading complex feelings and a sorrowful poem transferred a lot of those feelings into me.

    It made me sad, but that’s what a good writer does- commands a mood, conveys a thought, tells a story.

    • Hello Posky. 🙂 Thank you for commenting on my poem. I’m really happy that you enjoyed it, and if it made an impact on you, that’s great. I know this one is a little sad, but still, I’m glad it made you feel something.

  3. The palpable melancholy (both of sadness and of pleasant remembrance), the eye for truth that anyone who’s sat at such a bedside, wiped such lips, and held such a hand will know so keenly–what a beautiful piece, Eve.

  4. How beautiful and bittersweet, Eve…my Mom just went under hospice care, so this really hits home…it’s a part of life, but that realization doesn’t erase the sorrow~

    By the way, I had been following you via the follow button on top, but wasn’t getting your posts…so, I am now officially following you and I apologize for not visiting more often. I get behind so easily and now with my Mom ill, I’m moving slower, but still around..anyway, your writing is an inspiration, so thank you for sharing your talents and for all your support in my neck of the woods~

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