You called me “honey” amid your clutterspeak.
You will forget what you said to me
or that we spoke once you turn and leave.
You will roam the halls,
look into darkened rooms
for someone only you might see.
You will moan and wail and cry.
Wet will drip from your nose.
And the next time I see you, you could be calm.
You might even be laughing,
yet your eyes never seem to dry.
Only remembering patches of a life before,
thoughts so full of holes,
like the ivory doily
on your cluttered night stand,
brought here with your family pictures and more.
In your walker's basket is all that matters:
Crumbled tissues, your stuffed toy, a bag of crackers,
an old church bulletin,
a younger woman's rosary.
Jumbled things, memories in tatters.
Nursing home now your forever place.
Few here know your story;
none of us can tell it fully.
And you can't share it with us;
you only remember a trace.
Words hold so little meaning now.
Use them still, some real, most not.
You understand you, we try to distract you.
Redirect, try to get a smile, to calm you,
give you some peace, but we don't know how.
We call you “Noona,” though you have no grandchildren to seek.
-- Heidi de Marco