Mother's Stroke
a lament in five stages

the Call

I am unbalanced
by this news.
I'm tipped to fall.
My equilibrium is skewed
I reach for things
that are not there,
wear daylong tangles
in my hair,
erupt with weeping
over car-keys lost
in my despair

No anchor now
to give me safety,
no shattering scream
enough to wake me,
no saving handholds
to escape me
out of this undream.


My mother's illness
struck us in December
split the holy month in two,
interrupting Advent
with a guillotine descent,
amputating Christmas,
landing us in Lent.

In Hospital

The world in motion
round this timestopped
sterile room
is an affront
an insult slapped,
and it is my salvation too;
the blessed distractions
of coffee pots
and parking lots
and snow.


I want to stop
but I cannot be still.
Catapulted into chaos
I am spilled.
Headlong into frantic
futile tasks I fly,
rearranging furniture
and drawers fanatically...

As if I could
somehow by this
order all that's gone amiss,
find my footing once again,
recover balances,
manipulate an end.

the Fear

The fear of losing you
is like a death itself,
as long a shadow
and as desperate,
In haunts me
like a phone's unanswered ring,
like homelessness,
like drowning or thick fog,
like a mute piano,
like paralysis,
like empty cupboards and bare walls.
It will not leave me now.

You carried me over
from the other side.
Do not go back
an leave me here
and unlullabied.

Deb Cooper

Send Comments to Greg Gordon MD, CFI, cydoc@earthlink.net
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