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April 19, 2005

Brain candy

My mother-in-law cared for her husband every day while he was dying of cancer.

The trick now (and I'm doing all I can) is to keep her daughter from doing the same thing. This poem reminded me of my mother-in-law, or at least some of what she must have gone through.

Parting Drapes

How did you survive the frost
knowing the book would close,
music would stop, a pulse would quit,
and you would be left in a room
surrounded by empty chairs?
Six long months with death for drapes
your hands were always drawing them.
Back and forth, the steel screeched
as if it were an oil rig
plumbing a desert for hope.
You messed with even valances,
tugging at puffs as if this skirt
could ever hang over the going bone.
Inviting in the hiding sun,
blue batiks of fading skies
becomes commitment's old career.
You sign forever in the sand;
someone kicks it in your eyes.

All palms are idle in the end,
tortilla husks that speak
of curdled, passing meals.
Little scraps of ivory moons
bequeathed to soil, then covered up.
Rage drops anchors in the mud
and dying sails the fitful sea,
testing every rope we own.
You kept his college photograph
in every room you wandered through
touched the glass as if to print it with a wish.
Fed him ice chips, spoons of yogurt,
watched the drips deliver fluid to the sand,
packed his watch and wedding ring
took it home and stored it there
where every clock had lost its dial.
Adoring him was not a chore
even when his face was ash.

- Janet Buck

Posted by Dan at April 19, 2005 08:37 PM

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I love all the women in your life.
(It's ok. My wife knows.)
Just don't ever be like my Aunt Carol or have Steph play the role of my Uncle Russ.
(Note to the folks who know me or Dan. Ask us about the story of Aunt Carol, Uncle Russ, and the 4 feet 11 inches Doctor from India. I'm not that good with my keyboarding skills and Dan is the writer. Maybe Dan would share this story as what I think sparked his career in the ministry?)
We have shared some interesting moments in our lives. I'm looking forward to many, many, more.
No Portsmouth! No Peace! Know Portsmouth! Know Peace! Peace out!

Posted by: Jim at April 19, 2005 08:57 PM

May I make a request as one of The Faithful Readers? PLEASE tell the story.


Posted by: Alex at April 20, 2005 12:28 AM

Oh, it's a good story, but requires some set-up. It'll appear, but will have to wait until I'm feeling better from what's about to happen to me today.

Posted by: Dan at April 20, 2005 07:13 AM


Take care of yourself today.


Posted by: Alex at April 20, 2005 03:30 PM

All my love and prayers, as always.

Posted by: Kimm at April 20, 2005 06:19 PM

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