A while back blackbird said I should share more about my life. Well, here it is. 

Not my best poem, I'll admit but I was less concerned with form and more concerned with content.  Article Who's Online | Find Members | Private Messages
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15,511 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 7 years ago by griffin_wf

Lost Legacy
A while back blackbird said I should share more about my life. Well, here it is. Not my best poem, I'll admit but I was less concerned with form and more concerned with content.


First in your class

Tenured professor

Chair of mathematics

My father.

When I sought water

You were always there

The interdisciplinary well

Telling me to draw beyond what the day required

For one must stock for the many days ahead

And knowledge is hydration.

That cool water

Always available with the drop of a bucket

Always ready to cultivate fruits

To carry an orphaned thought when no one else would take it

It was so easy

To look down and think that there’d always be water there

That I’d always be able to drop my bucket into wisdom

If only it were so.

I was ready to go off on my own

Properly nurtured by your water

Ready to grow my own roots

To spread my boughs and reach new heights

Yet a cloud hung overhead

You had lost your edge

Like a razor kept out of sentimentality

Yet a dull blade can still cut

And you still had a fire in your eyes

You were simply old

A brilliant mind that had reached exhaustion

I left hoping the best for myself

Hoping the best for you as you entered retirement.

I enveloped myself in learning

In my advancement

When I asked of you I was told the most cheery things

How you’d spend each day in the library

Catching up on the reading you never had time for

How you stood taller without responsibility on your shoulders

Money was a bit tighter but you had savings

You had pensions and a working wife

I was confident that you would make the most of your remaining years.

A year went by and that confidence was shaken

You wandered out into the winter cold without a coat

Thankfully rescued in time by EMTs

You burned through your savings in months

Spending hours on the computer making meaningless purchases

You had lost all conception of money

You had little understanding of what you were even buying

Spending money without joy or purpose

Ruining your future out of inexplicable compulsion

The bucket took longer and longer to lower

And returned with less and less

You were too much for one woman to care for

And so I left university and returned home.

It was not so bad at first

Properly supervised you did not get into too much trouble

And though your regression was impossible to ignore

I could still look down,

And though the drop was deep,

Still see the shimmer of water

For all that you had given me

It was the least I could do to care for you in your waning days

And you still possessed the awareness to be appreciative of it

A mere sentence or two here and there

Unnecessary but gladly received

Yet, there was no avoiding the hideous truth

You would never get better

You would only get worse

I simply could not predict how quickly you would regress.

No longer were you capable of conversations

A sentence taxed your abilities

Eventually a single word would be the most we could expect from you

It took you five minutes to cross a room

And even longer to get out of bed

My heart was already breaking

And yet you were not done

I remember having to spoon feed you

Spending a half hour trying to dress you as you resisted every step of the way

Finding you on all fours on the ground having forgotten how to walk

And pulling you to your feet

Wiping away the blood after a seizure left you convulsing on the bathroom floor

Getting my hand bitten after stopping you from opening the door and wandering outside

Being woken at three in the morning by you,

Having spent hours wandering the dark house,

Screaming bloody murder

As if to give vent too all the vocalizations that you no longer were capable of uttering

And finding myself not reacting with shock or concern

But with exasperation that this had become a biweekly occurrence

I had become a babysitter

One tending a one hundred and sixty pound infant

This could not last much longer.

Something needed to be done

I had left school

My mother had retired well before she needed or wanted to

We had even begun hiring aides

But it still was not enough

We were no longer capable of taking care of you

You needed professional care

A week before you were set to leave

I sat down with you

Hoping that maybe I could explain what was about to happen to you

Hoping that maybe you might care

You turned and looked at me

And there was nothing there

Your eyes were empty

My breath caught in my parched throat

I was forced to admit what I had already known

You had forgotten me

I meant nothing to you

I could be replaced by a stranger and you would not know

There was no recognition in your eyes

No understanding as you absorbed my words

My father was dead

And I was talking to a corpse.

You are at a home now

Or I should say

The cadaver that still legally bears your name is at a home

Shambling through the halls when you can even manage to get out of bed

It disgusts me to say this

But it is the truth

I’m glad that your body is gone

No longer will I have to spend every day seeing that pathetic scarecrow

And remember that it is all that remains of a great man

No longer will I have to be continually confronted with the fact that I no longer mean anything to you

Occasional visits in which you barely bother to look at me is sufficient for that

You are in a better place

Being tended around the clock by professionals who can give you the care that I can’t

And it is not as if you notice

Human beings are now completely interchangeable

I cannot dwell on what I once had and have now lost

I must move on

My father is dead

And the well is dry.

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