My Mother Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
Her brain is scavenged now by the scarab beetles
of Alzheimer’s, leaving mom drifting into a starless
night, her sky blue eyes clouded, her words soft and
scrambled, anagrams on a page that can’t be turned.
memories gnawed away... marathon games of Scrabble,
listening to Sinatra swing, gushing over old movie stars,
like the time she met Dick Powell. I wonder if those moments
are locked somewhere in the prison of her mind. Her land is
strange, her language foreign. She is a child, wanting a cookie
she cannot name or reach. Her rehab is her crib she cannot
escape, no matter how hard she tries. I leave her screams, leaving
bloodless stab wounds of a scalpel. The demon of disease stole
her brain, her body, but wears her face. She doesn’t live here anymore.
She doesn’t live anywhere. Not the mother I knew. And when the
darkness swallows the sun and her lids droop over her glazed eyes,
I kiss her goodbye, perhaps for the last time. Her midnight is unending.
She’ll never know I was there but I will. I’ll remember the smell of tea with
honey, the warm sheets that smelled like her, the cool fresh air on my face
as she sang with Sinatra...and I smile through my tears.
Shelly Blankman and her husband are empty-nesters who live in Columbia, Maryland with their 4 cat rescues. They have two sons: Richard, 32, of New York, and Joshua, 30, of San Antonio. Her first love has always been poetry, although her career has generally followed the path of public relations/journalism. Besides Whispers, Shelly's poetry has been published by Silver Birch Press, Verse-Virtual, Ekphrastic: writing and art on art and writing and Visual Verse.