Wednesday, September 22, 2010

3WW: Gait, Nudge, Ripen

Carol and I took a stroll
through her garden.

The tomatoes were ripening
in front of us

in the warm September
sun. In the house

her mother-in-law,
my father-in-law's wife,

was balking at going
into an assisted-living

facility. We'd been trying
to reason with her

for hours, to gently nudge
her into acceptance.

My husband, her husband,
and her son were with her

and even from outside
we could see her throwing

daggers at them with her eyes.
I took some pictures

of Carol's flowers as she
told me their names

but soon we had to return
to the house. Our gait

was slow and reluctant
as we walked across

the lawn. We opened
the door and stress

puffed itself up
and blew into our faces.

11 comments:

pia said...

That was wonderful and all too true
I think many bloggers are younger and don't think this will ever happen to their parents or have assigned their parents spaces in imaginary nursing homes
Honestly I just get angry because my parents were older when my sister and I had this problem 15 years ago. I went to grad school for geriatric social work and still had few people I could discuss alternative living facilities with
It tore my family apart and we're still trying to forge better relationships

Sweetest in the Gale said...

What a powerful poem...it's heartbreaking to think of this stage in our parents' lives, but it's a reality most will have to deal with. You captured the pain of it in a beautiful way.

ThomG said...

very powerful stuff, Linda. I will agree with Pia that for many people, the thought of their parents growing old and frail just doesn't register. This is a wonderful telling of that angst.

Tumblewords: said...

Both sides of that tale are heartbreaking - nicely written with a delicate and poignant style.

Thomma Lyn said...

Beautifully done and you captured well how sad it is to see one's parents growing frail, and the difficult decisions that families often have to face.

Deborah said...

So poignant, well written.

Susannah said...

I love the ending of this...what an apt description for the atmosphere I can imagine was inside the house.

VL Sheridan said...

I love the line "stress puffed itself up and blew in our faces". Such a strong image of the tension of the moment. Beautifully done.

joco said...

We opened
the door and stress

puffed itself up
and blew into our faces.


I agree with VL Sheridan.

What I wouldn't give to come up with a phrase like that.

I am still stuck in trying to make credible use of the word 'gait'. It can actually mean the same as 'gate', but who would believe me?

gautami tripathy said...

You brought a lump to my throat. My dad is no more and my mom is not as frail but I am so scared about the thought.

baton of time

Ramesh Sood said...

But then I remember my father frail and bedridden towards the end.. Lost mom when I was 20 some 30 years ago..it happens.. its natural.. and not many are lucky to see their parents reach that age so as to see them frail and old and yet smiling.. but then God has his ways.. Thank you very much for this lovely write..

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