Touch: The Journal of Healing



Namasté *

     by Kathrin Harris

I don’t mind that you exclaimed,

“That’s my elephant!”

when they asked you who I was.

I could see you groping for the words

in that faded robe

and a beard you never wore before,

your eyes giving up what you knew.

You once ran beside me through billowing leaves,

my two wheels faltering, your strong arms secure.

Now, down a passage restful and green,

I steady your gait

as we stroll past the vacant expressions

of those who have preceded you

back to where they began.

You clutch the same familiar faded photos

and mutter recollections too old for me to share

until they drift beyond your shrinking reach.

You alone must collect the shards

of your fractured world.

But today we laugh.

For this sinister cloud that spares your form

but dims your light

and reduced a parent to a child

has not taken you yet.

And in brief flashes of clarity,

when I can see your synapses firing

like fireflies in a jar,

in its unwitting benevolence it reveals,

stripped-down and elemental,

the inimitable essence of your being.

© 2012  Kathrin Harris

* previously published in The Barefoot Review

Kathrin Harris lives in Grayslake, Illinois.  She often describes the loss of her father to Alzheimers as the “worst/best time” of her life. Although the disease took its inevitable course, it fostered a relationship that was profoundly rewarding and granted an opportunity to give back to someone who, like many men of his generation, never felt comfortable on the receiving end of affection.

Copyright © 2013

Touch: The Journal of Healing

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