If You Can Return

In the face
Of every elder

Stares back
The watery Eye
Of my mother
Before me

Who is both parent
And grandparent
Her shadow I chase
In the relatives
Of others

My chase is a ginger
Through forests of words
Across plains of stories
We tire

All that remains
Is the identical
Trauma torn geography
We name haggard face
Sagging jowls
Shaking hands reaching
For the same assurance
They've provided decades

The assurance
They now need
As an entire country
We turn from
Lest we see our futures

I am distressed
By my own helplessness
All the things
I cannot give you

So I show you
My favourite places to eat
Match my pace
To your meandering
Arthritic gait

Say yes
To every question
At every statement

Deny you nothing
On this evening
We both know
You have so little

I can't give you much
So I give you
On a cooling evening
Watching Sunset
We don't speak much
In this way our conversation
Is richer

You check your watch
Tap it with a talon-nail
Tell me where we're at
In our solar countdown
We both giggle
For no real reason
At all

Your internal compass
Can't recall
What North
Speaks True
You navigate in jolts
Of determination
That fizzle down
To embers
Of confusion

I take your elbow
Guide you

Aging is impassable
Without dignity
I fill your pockets
With it
As you follow
The Sun's course
To liquid depths
We still don't comprehend
But can't resist

You tell me
Of Mauritius
That pear shaped island
How you lived in the centre
At highest peak
And what an expedition
Trekking to the beach was
Where Water and Sky
Fused into one
Seamless place

You call abuse discipline
You hoard food
Leave it to rot
Eat with a graceless
Ravenous quality
I observe among

The elderly
Are our children
Returned to Beforetime

In this way
Every grandparent
I am introduced to is the child
I can't recall I was
That drifted from my desperate perception
I stamp you with the hologram
Of my projection
Like I do
With all the other

In you
I seek
My redemption

Essential acceptance
Of my mother's nearing
Return to Beforelife

If you can return
I can too
And we won't
Have to be apart




March 30th, 2016