Painted in Tones of Argent

For the weekly 55.  When I wrote this, my mother was dying. She has since died.

Painted in Tones of Argent
My backyard sleeps under
the full moon like a drowned Atlantis.
I sit on my back steps inhaling
the scents of honeysuckle and
a whiff of pot from my neighbors’-
A faint scent of petrichor:
the storm breaks
weeping on the trees.
My mother is dying.

Haibun: The Kindness of Strangers

Today Xenia Tran is hosting the haibun prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub. She has given us the prompt of compassion but not to use the word. Also today on Poets United, Sherry Marr has highlighted me and some of my poems:  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2018/05/blog-of-week-update-with-kanzen-sakura.html

Kindness of Strangers
Sometimes it is the small things that show kindness. When my mother was admitted into the skilled nursing facility, she was at first hostile and afraid. The personnel did all they could for her and to help me. I felt guilty because I could no longer care for her at home. The aides would get her up and bathed and dressed, joking with her, cajoling her into eating a bit of her breakfast, and letting us know about activities planned for the patients for the day. I would wheel her around the facility in her wheelchair, talking to the staff and patients, creating conversation to include my mother. After a couple of weeks she began to get into the routine and to eat her meals in the dining room. I began to help the workers with seating patients, bringing their food to the table, wheeling them back to the activity room for afternoon bingo, musical programs, and craft activities.

After Mother’s Day, mama had a series of seizures and strokes. The little ladies I talked to daily asked me about her, asked me to give her their best wishes and prayers for her. The key would even have their pastors come to mama’s room to talk with her, to pray over her. She was nonverbal by this time and took all of her meals in her room. The Kitchen staff would prepare special bits of food that they knew she liked. I would sit with her all day. Everyone knew my routine. Early one morning, the floor nurse called me at home to let me know my mother had died.
birds on feeder
outside her window – away
they flew – her soul is freed

 

an angel made by mama in her craft class from an oyster shell

The First

Today the theme at Toads is first, one….It is the first of April. Everyone seems to be jumping onto the nanomopomo or whatever it is. I don’t do it. I follow the advice my father and my mother gave me many years ago.

My First
I wrote my first haiku when I was six.
I write my first poem when I was eleven.
I kissed my first boy when I was fourteen.
I kissed my first man when I was twenty.
But the first poem…
It was as devastating as the first ocean wave
that roared over me knocking me down
and rolling me about on the sand,
That first poem was as astounding as the first
falling star I saw,
As miraculous as the first time I walked barefoot
in the dew bedecked grass.
It was as mind blowing as the first book I ever read
from beginning to end –
The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe,
I remember the fountain pen my father have me –
Write from your heart he said.
The small black loose leaf notebook
given to me by my mother –
Write in this everyday wherever your soul leads you.
After my mother died
I found the cedar chest she had bought when she was fourteen
crammed full of my notebooks, school work,
poems and stories…
I closed the lid and the door to her room.
Maybe one day, I will open the door again.

Haibun Monday – the only thing we have to fear…

Today I am hosting the Haibun Monday prompt. It is on fear – fear of things, fear of being out of control, fear of losing loved ones, fear – primal and raw. Come join us today.

My Mother’s Daughter
Several years ago my mother began displaying erratic and irresponsible behavior. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Since then it has been a downhill road – she has forgotten how to walk, often forgets she has not eaten, has become incontinent. It is heartbreaking. Especially as my mother varies between paranoid, hostile towards me, and loving mother. My husband and I have no children. We did not get married until I was 49 and he was 39. It is just us and his mother who is starting to go somewhat erratic herself.

I am afraid when I look at my mother that one day, I will be sitting in a wheelchair, in her place. I will have no one to know or to care about me except maybe a nursing home. I kept her at home as long as I could but then one day, it became evident I could no longer care for my mother. Then I was afraid of the nursing home in which to place her. But praise God, she was sent from being in the hospital to a small nursing home with only 90 beds and ten minutes from our home. I can visit her often and have formed, during her stay there since January, friendships among the staff and caring relationships with some of the residents. But I am still afraid. My past fears of clowns, losing loved ones, spiders – pales in comparison to this new fear of Alzheimers. Alzheimer’s – one of the scariest words in the human vocabulary.

spring sky turns black – storm
begins and wind blows strong – hawk
flies against the wind

Quadrille Monday: Quadrille #29

De is hosting our Quadrille Monday. A quadrille is a 44 word poem exactly, using a prompted word. De has chosen “balloon” for us today.  Come join us for these wonderful short poems.  Quadrille #29


Mama’s Balloon

Breath of God
blown into a pink balloon.
It grew larger and larger
and it soared and dipped
until one day,
My mother was told
her left ventricle had ballooned out
and it could burst at any minute.
I hope it is quick: aneurysm

Hiatus from Blogging

Hello all my dear friends.

I will be taking a brief hiatus from blogging.  My mother, who has Alzheimers and is in frail health, is in the process of being put into hospice care.  She also lives with me in my home so caretaking has been difficult.  It is a painful part of my life, watching my once vital, funny, and intelligent mother dying.   I will be back as soon as I can.  In the meantime, I wish you all happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and many many hugs and blessings.  I imagine I will be back sooner than I anticipate because I love writing so very much.  In the meantime, your prayers and good wishes are earnestly needed.

Take care of yourselves.
Love,
Toni

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