Sunday, July 8, 2012

Poetics: Whatever the Weather • Reckoning

Resident Marie Waite visits with Travis the llama 
at Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley in Littleton, Mass. 
— Photo by João Canziani, from AARP Bulletin


Reckoning

Dementia patient and llama meet
weekly in the memory care corral,
                a comfort station along 
                the train of lost thought, 
in the pungent pasture of 
                uprooted memory
where a summer's day is evermore —
and nevermore — flittering like a
dream caught then released,
as bright as crisp morning and lazy
as lush afternoon reckoning with
                a hazy blue gloaming, 
beckoning to the velvet night.

                                      MLydiaM ~ July 2012


Written for PoeticsWhatever the Weather at dVerse Poets.


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17 comments:

Catfish Tales said...

Sweet! My father was suffering Alzheimers when he finally ended up staying at a ranch for the elderly. Often, and with great satisfaction, he would go out and watch the collies herding sheep. I used to laugh at this, because he was such a 'control freak' as we were growing up. This simple collie to sheep act appealed to him on such a profound level. :)

Brian Miller said...

it is pretty amazing how working with animals works with people....i use animals in working with some of the kids that i do...and pups are great as well....and i used horses with another....

Claudia said...

they discover working and therapy with animals more and more - akso with kids and managers.. i find it amazing how well this works

hedgewitch said...

I can't imagine what it's like to be in the mind of someone with dementia, but I'd like to think it's like this, pure as a blank slate, childlike and receptive. The words themselves here are beautiful Lydia, and their import even more so.

poemsofhateandhope.com said...

This is actually very beautiful. What a tender moment between the two....Alzheimer's must be such a difficult illness to deal with....but the moment between the patient and the animal....you paint it so serenely....it was quite touching...very good poem and great take on the prompt!

Amber Lee said...

Oh, this gave me chills! You created such a beautiful scene - I especially loved "the pungent pasture of uprooted memory." And also everything after that. Beautiful.

I thought you would like this - my brother-in-law is a poet, and a friend's daughter got mad at him the other day and told him he writes poetry because he is "sad in his soul!"

susan said...

That was very beautiful. It's such a sad thing to know older people who have led active lives suddenly forget almost everything. When it happens to me I hope someone brings an animal to visit with now and again.

Rob-bear said...

Animals are such good friends and companions to older people, whether those folk suffer memory loss or are of sound mind. My wife used to work with such people, and took our dog visiting, sometimes. I occasionally took one of our dogs visiting parishioners.

Wonderful poem, Lydia. It brought back memories.

Fireblossom said...

I think that animals can reach places inside us that no one else can, not even other people.

Poet Laundry said...

A poignant piece.

Lydia said...

Catfish Tales~ Your sharing the story about your father meant a lot, and I found it both touching and ironic. I'm glad you have that memory of him.

Brian~ Sounds like you are as ingenious in your job as you are with your writing. ^.^

Claudia~ My Old English Sheepdog, Abby, who died in February would have made a perfect therapy dog. As it was, she was therapy for me!

hedgewitch~ You are so special and I'm grateful for your beautiful mind.

poemsofhateandhope~ Thank you for this lovely prompt. Because of it I wrote to honor some people who have touched my life who became afflicted with the disease. I hope they have that serenity you mentioned.

Amber Lee~ So glad you liked it. I sure loved your latest creative video. :)

susan~ What do you mean when it happens to you? No! You mustn't even give power to such a thought. Your mind and art are gifts to us.

Rob-bear~ Was the dog you mentioned the poodle you have written about? I can imagine that dog being a beautiful ambassador.
Animals are so special; you are too.

Fireblossom~ It is true. So true.

Poet Laundry~ I appreciate your visit and comment.

Rob-bear said...

We've had several Poodles, and used them at different times.

izzy said...

Oh animals and people forever! and as long as we do not realize it is a circle we are going in - and it feels more like flying- I could manage some forgetfulness...thanks.

kj said...

'the pungent pasture of
uprooted memory'

give me a break, lydia! that is just fantastic writing!

i could so easily devote my life to the care to and from animals.

love
kj

Lydia said...

izzy~ Charming concept! Thanks.

kj~ Thank you, kj!
I feed so much wildlife, birds, and stray cats that it feels I've devoted my life to their care. In a sense, I guess I have. ^.^

mythopolis said...

It reads poetically well, but if you go through this with a loved one, you know it is actually hell to watch someone lose their mind. That's for you, mom.

Lydia said...

mythopolis~ I dreamed last night that my mother was losing her mind and I kept telling everyone I wish they had known her two years before. Then I read your comment this afternoon....
What's strange is that my mother died of lung cancer almost 12 years ago, and her mind was sharp to the very end. Therefore, I can only think of my nightmare as a bit of synchronicity with you. I am so sorry that you were closely touched by the disease and thank you for your insight.

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