Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Committed



Kim's prompt at Poets United's Verse First today is: Committed, a word with many meanings. I have written of this before, in prose, (The Prince of Compassion) and borrowed some of the phrases from that tale, so deeply etched in my mind is that journey with a loved one, and the words I wrote, later, to grapple with it.

Up the gray, chipped stairs,
past the gray drab walls,
gray rain drizzling down
the gray bleak windows,
the abandoned ones live here,
on their narrow beds of pain,
battling hopelessness,
looking for one small reason
to go on struggling.

And my son, thin, tall, tousle-haired, gentle,
mystic and dreamer, composer of music
and weaver of rhyme,
now lived in this landscape,
his hours marked out in paper cup pills,
naps and hospital trays.
He had walked the fine line
between daybreak and hellfire
and had fallen.
Where would his beauty
find a place to land
in halls so bleak and bare?

Up and down the halls they walk,
fragile as ghosts,
lonely souls making their solitary treks
through the labyrinths of their own minds,
land of rain-speckled windows,
tears and no more hope.

On the bare mattress,
he lies sleeping,
by his bed a note,
written in his jaggedy script:

I am Cloud.
Someone blow me away.

An electrical jolt 
zaps my heart with fear.
Down the gray hall,
the gray, drab stairs,
out into the noisy brightness
of the city street,
that parallel reality called
Normal Life,
while behind me and two floors up
my son's life hangs
in the balance.

I am Cloud.
Someone blow me away.

27 comments:

  1. I am melted into tears, blown away by this grey cloud and parallel universe that too many have to live in. Help us, God.

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  2. Sherry, you have shown again and again how COMMITTED you are to your son!

    Very moving poem.

    I think at some points all of us wish to be the Cloud and have someone just blow us away.

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  3. So much in this piece Sherry--I cried for you--for him--for how life is sometimes

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  4. A beautiful, horrifying and heart-wrenching poem - all at once!

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  5. Oh, Sherry...this is sad! Yes, we all have cloud moments, but some have to live in the trenches and need some wind to lift their wings!
    I mentioned you on my blog today-hope that is a bit of a breeze for you~ (((hugs)))

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  6. I am always touched by the love and empathy you exude when writing about your son. This piece gives the uninitiated a peek at the onus of parenting a mentally ill child, and the commitment involved in keeping them safe. Parallel worlds indeed. THAT is such an apt phrase.

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  7. Sherry, what a story you have shared with all of us. As a mom, I can't even begin to imagine how this pulls on your heart. We wish/hope that our children will never suffer, but reality isn't so. I hope you and your son will find only peaceful days ahead. Thank you again for sharing your story.

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  8. Thank you for caring, my friends. He was seventeen then and I held him fast to this earth, as the kite of his life soared and pulled and wanted so badly to fly away. I told him, then, that I couldnt handle it if he were gone, and he said "I know. That's why I'm still here." He suffered for a long time, and we journeyed together through his illness.Now he is 42 and much more stable. He is happy much of the time, and brings joy and positivity wherever he goes, and a wild cackle he learned from me. He has the gift of finding joy in the "little things". I titled the poem thinking of the term committing someone to the psych ward. But as Mary points out, the other kind of commitment came into play too. I just always knew that joyous gentle laughing little boy I had known was still in there. He is in there still, in the body of this tall 42 year old man! He has taught himself from library books to compose classical music that sounds like Mozart to me, and he can write a Shakespearean sonnet in mere moments..........he is a wonder!

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  9. What a lovely and heart felt share Sherry ~ I can't imagine the agony of waiting, fearful for this life ~ As I read your comment above, I am happy that he has found his voice and journey. He is a gifted man, a wonder ~

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  10. Oh Sherry, my heart was breaking reading this--and then lifted when I read that your son is doing so much better now. A beautiful poem--hugs to you both!

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  11. Wow Susan! Even though your love and pain and fear flowed hauntingly through your words, it was only when I read your comment that I realised this was an actual part of your life and your son's.

    I am filled time and again with amazement and wonder at the kind of love and support a mother can have for her child. Maybe it is just something that one understands when she becomes a mother.

    A divine piece of writing!

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  12. Sherry, clearly you've shared a piece of your heart here. Thank you for this honest morcel of pain and allowing me/us to feel with you. Blessings to you and your son. I pray he is well, and I pray for you, your love and your compassion.

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  13. This so touched my Sherry. What a beautiful son you have. I know some of the pain with walking bare halls with my daughter through her illnesses and surgeries.

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  14. very vivid descriptions - I have worked in such environs for a bit - heartbreaking that helpless feeling, - glad he and you learned to cope and you are a joy to each other still...

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  15. I'm continually amazed at your strength and your ability to voice it so well. Your foundations are strong, built on the commitment of love. Now looking back on that part of the journey what peace you must have in knowing.

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  16. Sherry- This brought tears to my eyes... and I am so happy he is where he is today. It can be quite a journey. I especially felt this:

    Up and down the halls they walk,
    fragile as ghosts,
    lonely souls making their solitary treks
    through the labyrinths of their own minds,
    land of rain-speckled windows,
    tears and no more hope

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  17. I think you have hit commitment squarely - there is much sorrow and toiling in love
    The symbol of the cloud is excellent

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  18. The ultimate commitment of mother to child, so heart wrenchingly shared, amazing.

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  20. This poem is so painfully beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes to think of how hard this must have been and still is for you as a mother. The strength it took to write this heart wrenching story is amazing. Truly a remarkable poem.

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  21. Oh Sherry, this is so moving. I can feel your mother's heart in this. Wow...brought tears.

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  22. Sherry,

    Each word has been written with only the deepest of love, possible from a mother to her son:)
    A tearful poem Sherry, but brimming with your love...You are such a dear and wonderful human being.
    I do hope one day, that we shall get to share many, overdue cups of tea!!
    Best Wishes,
    Eileen:)

    Regaining hand movement slowly, after surgery. A slow recovery.

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  23. Sherry, I've been on both sides... with Riley being committed, then committing myself. There was nothing so bleak as that ward, and you described it with unflinching detail. Thank you for sharing so much intimacy in your love of your son with us. The note must have been a shock. And echoed in the last line, that's when the waterworks started here. Love love love, Amy

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  24. what a beautiful self image, to be light and free. especially in a controlled and heavy footed context.
    perhaps ask him to write poems
    it sounds like there is a voice there that might lead to happier places.

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  25. totally agree with Amy you describe the ward so clearly

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  26. No mother should have to bear what you went through but I believe it was your steely determination (commitment) that held onto that boy who was suffering so bad and kept him with you. So very glad to hear that he is still with you...he sounds amazingly talented. I was going to comment on the grayness of the place but then I thought perhaps you meant that metaphorically and not literally.

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