Kyūketsuki – vampire

I am linking this to dVerse’s Open Link Night. This is a non-prompted poetry event where you can link a poem of your choice. My mother has Alzheimer’s. I am grieving.

Kyūketsuki – Vampire
the vampire is a day walker a night stalker –
I go to my mother’s room and there
he is – wrapped tightly around her
forehead against her white hair –
a look of nightmarish orgasm on his face.
Get away from my mother I shout
But he just smiles –
I don’t care who she is.
I don’t care who you are.
I don’t care about any of you except that you are my food.
I feed off your hopes, dreams, tears….memories.
I will feed until you are dead or worse than dead….
I pull my sword and as I pull it free from its shi
I see it is a plastic sword – A parody of child’s toy.
See? Nothing you can do.
I go to my mother and put my arms around her
Holding her close, trying to break his hold on her.
Her soft pansy brown eyes are blank and yet unbearably sad.
The vampire chuckles –
That was a nice juicy bit – the first time your father kissed her.
It is mine now.
But with lazy grace he decides to leave.
Next time you feel that bit of warmth on your neck remember:
It is not a spring breeze or the sun,
It is my breath as I follow you, close behind.
Now my mother’s eyes are clear and she is tired, wants a nap.
I ease her back onto her pillow and kiss her forehead, her cheeks,
Her frail hands. Be at peace mama. I’m here.
She smiles and closes her eyes.
So no one will hear, I go into the bathroom and bury my face
Into my large towel.
I sit on the toilet and howl and rock with pain
Until I can go out the door with a smile plastered on my face
And calm in my voice.
I look into the mirror and see my mother’s eyes looking back at me.
I feel the warmth on my neck and I shiver.

nosferatu public domain files

34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 14:01:10

    Oh, dang, Toni. (I’m thinking stronger words) You captured it too well. Not much I can say–consoling words don’t work. I will point out that it touches me deeply, how tender you are with your sweet mother. Big cyber hug coming your way.


  2. kim881
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 14:32:22

    Oh my goodness, it is just like that. Alzheimer’s has fed on my mother too. The last time I visited her she recognised me but did not know my name and had no words to speak, even though she thought she was talking to me. Your poem has such resonance for me. And I also have my mother’s eyes.


  3. Sanaa Rizvi
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 15:17:38

    This is so powerful Toni, Alzheimer’s disease runs in my mother’s side of the family.


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 15:32:44

    Oh this is exactly how it is… It came so slowly and then it was there… The image of the vampire feeding is how it is… The parts that’s just taken… My mother has not gone that far yet, but I know how she have those good and bad days.


  5. Linda Kruschke
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 15:37:13

    Wow! That is powerful. I think the line that hit me most was “Until I can go out the door with a smile plastered on my face / And calm in my voice.” Why do we think we need to hide our pain behind a happy facade? It’s hard to imagine being able to do so convincingly in this situation. My prayers are with you. Peace, Linda


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 28, 2016 @ 15:43:30

      Thank you for your prayers. They are most appreciated. I compose myself so as not to cause my mother disturbance. I caretake her and my husband. I dn’t want them to ever think they are a burden or “steal” from me so I hide much from them. My husband I am honest with but it is a balance. The façade is not happy but it is calm…big difference. My poor mom thinks she has done something to upset me and gets upset so I am careful as to what she sees. She has enough to deal with on the inside of her poor self. I’ve gotten very good at being convincing. Sometimes I even fool me. When you pray, my mother’s name is Celia. She believes in prayer and never forgets her prayers.


  6. Pleasant Street
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 16:00:22

    That damned vampire. I wish I could get him away from your mother for you. Just heartbroken for you


  7. mishunderstood
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 16:03:05

    Oh Toni, I don’t know that I can find words to respond. I think your poem is a masterpiece in describing this hideous disease and all that is lost because of it. I will pray for you and Celia. Sending you big hugs.


  8. robert okaji
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 16:29:16

    My best thoughts and hopes are coming your way. I have met the vampire and I fear him. Last year my Dad couldn’t remember when my birthday was – he knew the season, but the day eluded him. Your poem is masterful.


  9. Bodhirose
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 16:50:57

    This is stunning through your garish description of the vampire and ensuing grief that is Alzheimer’s. I understand why you mask your true feelings with your mother and try to keep that calm demeanor. You are a dear, loving daughter and my heart goes out to both you and Celia. Warm hugs, Toni.


  10. lillian
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 17:41:17

    I shall put the name “celia” on our prayer intercession list at Old North Church in Boston. This is the church from which the lanterns were hung for Paul Revere’s ride — there are centuries of kind spirits residing in her walls. Prayers will ascend.

    Alzheimers is indeed cruel — to the individual, the family and the friends. Your poem here is a testament to your mother and to your strength.


  11. Glenn Buttkus
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 17:47:05

    I love your analogy, & the strength of your compassion, for yes, it seems there is nothing more arrogant than a pathology. The autoimmune demon I’ve nurtured for 30 years certainly does have its way with me when it desires; thank the gods I can do monthly treatment that pushed back on it for a few weeks. I must find joy in the small victories.


  12. whimsygizmo
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 17:51:34

    Oh, Toni. This is just stunning. The disease as a vampire…the descriptions with in…all that is stolen, lost. I have such a lump in my throat right now. You’re in my heart.


  13. Arcadia Maria
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 18:11:41

    Powerful and stunning piece of work. You revealed the emotions one goes through right to the core.


  14. Mary
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 18:32:15

    Oh Toni, it is so very hard. So hard. If only holding her close would somehow take away that dreaded disease. May she be at peace…and may you be as well.


  15. Magaly Guerrero
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 18:39:29

    When the true nature of the weapon was revealed, I felt my heart break a little. Few things leave us as broken as the helplessness that eats at us when we can do nothing in the face of illness, especially when the one ill is someone we love.

    There is so much in this poem… Not just the pain of seeing your mom being taken away, sip by sip, by that terrible disease, but the fear hat comes with thoughts of genetics. That terribly “warm breath” on the back of the neck…

    Still, your mom is lucky to have you looking after her, kissing her memories back into her skin, remembering the color of her eyes with your face.

    I’m sending you gentle hugs.


  16. lynn__
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 22:14:32

    My mother-in-law suffered from Alzheimers too…sometimes we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! But calm is definitely best approach. Hugs and prayers for you and your mom.


  17. thistle wrists
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 23:28:22

    My word, this is amazing.


    Apr 29, 2016 @ 02:05:45

    There is too much pain in this life, and I hope that your written words acts as a catharsis for you and give some relief. Sending prayers for your strength and your mother’s peace.


  19. phoartetry
    Apr 29, 2016 @ 04:20:52

    Take care if yourself Toni. You and your mom are I my prayers.


  20. Patti
    Apr 29, 2016 @ 16:44:33

    I’m so sorry your mother (and you) have to go through this. Ìt is like a vampire, sucking the essence of a person right out of them. You captured that perfectly.


  21. petrujviljoen
    Apr 30, 2016 @ 06:43:55

    It’s tough on her and her family. As Victoria said, saying sorry won’t help.


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