Monday, January 16, 2012

A Winter Mood

It is a gray winter morning and my heart feels heavy as the clouds outside the window. Those of you who know us well know that Tom is slipping ever farther away from us. Though we have been fortunate in the pace of his disease, nearly six years after his diagnosis, the tempo is quickening and I can see where we are headed. I write to try to capture the essence of what it means to walk this journey. I write to survive.


I wear a gown woven of rose gold and sapphire,
braided of threads stolen from the last rays of sunset
and the azure veil of dawn, a tapestry of open space.
You wear a gray mantel of gauze, an uninhabited landscape
my hand passes through as though it were the wind.
For you I turn the wheel and let the broken pieces of amber
and jade fall around us in our silent dome of glass.
I inscribe the story of our life around my garment’s hem,
the brocade skirt tattooed in chalk, seen in the violet sweep
of waning light, as if the plain fact of us were obvious
and could be read from a distance; our private language
deciphered, written in shades of emerald and pearl.
The pattern forms our missing memories, paints a tableau
as intricate as a geode, a frozen oasis of love and loss.

My eyes resist the vision, fearing you will vanish just as I try
to embroider you upon my blouse, to fold you into the linen
of my skin but all that you were is now a moonbeam on the sea,
a rippled pale reflection, the tide repeating its rise and fall,
washing ashore sea glass and gems that have been here before.
They vow that everything returns, transforms even as the planet
turns to the sunrise and casts its bronze glow on my doorstep.


  1. Don't know if beautiful is the right word...your words certainly are. The emotions and the implications are more frightening. And that's from this perspective--so far away. I so wish I could be helpful.

  2. All I can think of is how fortunate he is to have you. Such a difficult time.

  3. It brings back a flood of memories. Your words are beautiful, they accurately depict the helplessness I felt the last few, of the seven long years with my mom. Thank you for sharing. It is such a difficult road.

  4. "Is slipping ever further away…"

    Yes, that is how it seems---but we don’t know where he is going.

    Look at what you wrote here:

    "Staring into little faces has long been a passion of mine -- the mystery of what they know and what they will learn each day as they grow -- has always fascinated me."

    It occurs to me, and your lovely poem (unity I think is the golden thread of this piece) adds depth to my thought that perhaps our beloveds slip back into the world of only sensation---the colors sparked that thought.

    The sixteen residents of Skylark, where Dave spent his last year, dined at tables of four and no one seemed to think much about helping themselves to other people’s food—much like young babies. Though some were in a world of their own, most had a comfortable camaraderie. We know nothing about another’s experience, we can only hope it is a good one.

  5. We are all reflections of one another and your kaleidoscope of color reflected courage and beauty that we all share in a sunrise and a sunset. And the doorway of the heart can be opened by all the world. Your artistry continues to astound and amaze me.