Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dead Woman, Waiting


The dead woman lives in one room,
surrounded by all that she loved
when she was alive
wolves, elephants, ocean, forest,
photos of herself in those vibrant years,
photos of the children, long grown and gone,
who forget to call.
The Dead Woman sits
and, some days,
she  remembers it all.

She once spoke with forest sprites and firebirds,
danced the dawn up every morning,
put the sun to bed at night,
communed with whales
and talking trees,
and laughed under the moon.
Now she lives in a silent room
where the dust
settles around her,
a stale blanket
in the gloom.

Her hair and her heart are covered with cobwebs.
She is resigned to this waiting life,
as the fog of Alzheimers
slowly creeps into
the fingerlings of her mind,
like a coastal shoreline,

Some days she counts up
all the wrong turnings
that stole so many years.
The worst days
are when she remembers.
The best days
are when she forgets.

Ha, a dark tome for Grace's prompt at dVerse: Dead Man Poetry. 
Note: mercifully, not autobiographical.


  1. That ending is so sad when mental illness creeps and steals away the happy and best days ~ I can imagine it feels like a dead person is living in that small room, waiting for life to pass by in a blur or a fog in a coastline ~

    Thanks for participating Sherry and wishing you a lovely week ~

  2. Oh! That ending is so painful.
    The way you portray a forgotten life and the turn to the effects of old age is powerful.

  3. Thank you for revealing this isn't autobiographical. It moved me to tears. Mercy is inscrutable.

  4. it is tough being reduced to one room - esp. when lhaving lived such a vibrant life... sad when the kids even forget her...i wish she could go and take a walk in that forest and meet all those she loved...

  5. Nice. I knew it wasn't autobiographical. Though I suspect gloom sets in from time to time, I know you're a joyous person who finds the light.

  6. sad, being reduced to the waiting life...and where she once roamed the forest and talked with nature to be confined to a room...oy what a loss...of freedom and of friends in the wood.....

  7. Yes that gradual death is sad.. the imagery of cobwebs settling... but still there are those days when the good memories flashes through...

  8. dark indeed - as I am becoming aware if we live long enough, something bad always happens...

  9. Dark indeed! And too sadly true for many. Another kind of death.

  10. This must be the story of many 'at the end of the road.' Sad really that all of life would end this way...and I wonder how many people are really grateful at a certain point of what they forget rather than what they remember!

  11. This is a sad and dark, but I have no doubt realistic, portrait you have drawn, Sherry. I too was struck by the image of the cobwebs.

  12. What a wonderfully written if thoroughly sad piece.

  13. That waiting for the end must be excruciating when faced with Alzheimer's...and for those bedridden. Life to me seems to be more of a curse under those circumstances...death a welcomed release. Beautifully and sensitively written, Sherry.

  14. This breaks my heart, Sherry - maybe too close to home - really really strong and moving poem, my friend.

  15. Sherry, Wow this was painfully beautiful and a sad reality for many who are lost in the cobwebs of their mind. Excellent writing and images that linger in the readers mind.

  16. I knew it couldn't be autobiographical, but thanks for confirming. It really is quite heartbreaking. that waiting, when there seems nothing left to live for... Poor woman, I do feel for her and so many others in a similar plight.

  17. Beautiful and sad at the same time. Lovely imagery.

  18. Her anguish and despair visible through the lines.

  19. "..fingerlings of her mind, like a coastal shoreline, vanishing." beautiful..her life is what counts..

  20. you've captivated truth Sherry..i've seen such a soul...tragic is an understatement here...

  21. Sherry The best is yet to come!

  22. I have heard, the mind is lost to free the heart....perhaps it is true.

  23. Wow, Sherry-you always bring it into focus! The fingerlings really got me- Bravo, for your brave self and the magic you have witnessed and shared!

  24. Powerful, brutal work, Sherry. Wow.

  25. I echo Mama Zen here, Sherry. This portrait you've painted is so believable...sadly there're so many for which this is reality. ♥

  26. A great write, my friend, and very scary.

  27. powerfully sad, Sherry ~


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