Is this my mother lying there?

So still and silent in the 

Is this my mother lying there?

So still and silent in the 

Geriatric chair.

With clouded eyes that scarcely see

She does not know that I am me.

Her small sweet face has no expression 

There is no focus in her eyes.

She does not know if it is night 

Or are we blessed with sunny skies.

I hold the tiny fragile hands

With fingers bent into the palm

Once loving hands that held me close, 

Now very still and very calm.

Where once a crown of braided brown

Adorned her graceful head

A single rope of braided grey 

Is slightly falling down.

I try to find the inner mind

Beyond the empty stare,

There’s no response of any kind –

She simply isn’t there!

From morn to noon, and noon to night

With little change, and no respite.

She does not know those few who come 

Or care about the ones who shun,

The days that pass in silence spent 

She never wonders where they went.  

Can you comprehend the terror? 

Of not knowing where I am …

Or who I am, or if I am 

And if I’ve kith or kin!

Was there a man to love me?

A man to really care? 

A special someone offering 

His life for me to share?

Has there been a husband dear

To kiss me, oh so tenderly

To hold me close, wipe away a tear?  

I do not know, I can’t recall

My memory’s gone, beyond the spring

Far, far beyond the chilly fall.

The child who died, the wayward two.

The grief that scorched her heart,

That struck and shattered and pierced

And broke her little heart apart.

The mind that does not know,

There is a nurse’s bell

If, in that mind, is peace or hell.

This is not my mother lying there

In the leather geriatric chair,

She’s somewhere in the Kansas sun 

In the yard where once they run 

As children free and happy are

Waiting for the evening star.

Please, Dear God, let her go 

Into a grave that though not warm, 

Is better than this mindless form 

Into the painless sleep of death 

Where there awaits the shining morn.

 Vera Walker

Forest Park

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