January 25, 2014

Wisps

They broke her
and she shattered into a billion pieces
there was no glue to put her back together again

her days numbered
by a faded calendar
hanging from a yellow push pin
on a corkboard full of out-of-date notices
people shuffling through her hours in paper slippers
paper dreams fluttering in their wake

they broke her
and she gathered all the pieces
stuffing them into a paper bag
she carried to and fro
from common room to common grounds
where slippered people whispered tales of past lives
to a disinterested audience of mourning doves
perched on branches of swaying trees

her days cluttered with debris
clinging to the edges of her narrow life
her nights muddled by wisps of moonlight
creeping through dusty blinds
paper bag tucked gently neath the battered pillow


ktn © 2014











26 comments:

Mary said...

Her days numbered bg
A faded calendar

There is such sadness in this poem, Kim. Makes me wonder what her life was like before 'they broke her.'

the walking man said...

My wife works in an "assisted living facility" yes once they break the bank they have to leave because they did not die soon enough.

Our Manifest Destiny never left room for us to properly care for the doves of our elders.

3 years ago in Detroit a 101 year old woman was evicted from her house, truly evicted, belongings on the street for a reverse mortgage loan he son took out in her name ($34,000) that had ballooned to an $80,000 debt).

A charity bought her house for taxes and rehabbed it, took a year but they gave it back to her unencumbered, she at least died at home at 104. ut that was only one person, had she been 80, it might have had a different ending.

We let our elders mourn the day they were born rather than give them comfort as they age.

Loredana Donovan said...

Oh, this is so poignant, Kim. Elderly care is such a tough situation with many ending up in nursing homes in their final years. Some just have no family or it's financially difficult to take care of them. Yet there are still many who take care of both their children and aging parents at the same time and are compassionate. It's sad and unfortunate when both the system and ignoring families break the elderly. A beautiful, touching piece, Kim.

Brian Miller said...

wow vivid...i wonder at times at our disassembling nature with people....taking them apart to see what is there to fix, but what if we cant put them back together...i like her strength in trying to at least hold the pieces even if they cant get back together...the keeping them in a paper bag as well..there is something about that.

Susan said...

By the time our days are numbered we might have a collection of those bags in assorted sizes, holding on to them tightly in case we dreamed them. I speak from experience of the tragicomedy. But your poem depicts a woman who didn't get to practice, who has none to inherit. Hers is a tragedy for us all. Well drawn. Tears here. Maybe "Wisps" will avert the tragedy for some.

Hudson Howl said...

For me this speaks to 'being'...the importance of being, being there in the moment, being different. Six windows, an opening to the inside, all alike at first glance, except for the one with a blind. That the one I want to enter to understand the being.

McGuffy Ann said...

I could see her and feel what she felt. I understood.

anthonynorth said...

Beautifully poignant words.

Robert Bourne said...

such a undercurrent of sadness to this... the world discards people so easily...

Truedessa said...

There is deep sadness here collecting pieces of herself in
paper bags. Makes my heart grieve.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A bleak and often accurate portrait of institutional life - the mourning doves in the poem add the perfect note - and I love the photo of the doves on your banner.

razzamadazzle said...

This is just so sad. I've worked with incarcerated youth, but to think there's no hope of going back to a normal life is just tragic. I love the header too.

Cloudia said...

been there. done that. resurrected!



ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >
=^..^= <3

Aditi said...

Her days numbered by a faded calendar - such strong imagery. You portrayed the sadness and helplessness of the situation so well here. And the last line - so beautiful... Paperbag containing all the memories, that is all there is left and perhaps the only thing that gives her strength to carry on!

Jane ~ EarthAppleJane said...

Haunting in it's sadness Kim.

Louvregirl said...

I love your hearer shot, Talon. It is simply beautiful! This made me think of a 'street person' 'bag lady' I had as a patient years ago. It makes me sad.

R.K. Garon said...

Well written with sensitivity and awareness. Bravo!
ZQ

Patricia said...

Wow
We have a neighbor who got a reverse mortgage when dementia had set in. Now the house is falling apart these past 3 years and the bank will not allow the children in to collect the things (though squatters are inside often)
We feel rather a mess these days about our truth and priorities.

Leenie B said...

So sad to see those with broken lives. So glad there are compassionate people who can help.

Geraldine said...

So well written Kim but so sad...I was deeply touched by this.

TALON said...

Thank you so much, everyone, for your kind comments on this piece.

Lynn said...

I've seen this so much - so sad.

ayala said...

sad, heartbreaking and beautiful!

Snaggle Tooth said...

Alzheimer's n Dementia take such a toll this reminds me of...

Searching for the Story said...

This hit close to home today. Well done.

NataĊĦa Dolenc said...

even though it holds such sadness, there is so much beauty in this one... what broke her and how come...

have been missing you in the pantry, hope you're okay..