Monday, June 20

The ways we salvage ourselves...


In the end, in the long-term
wing of the assisted living
home, in the small white chamber

looking out on the patio's locked-in
blooms or in the big plain
"day room" with its blaring

TV and hopeful posters,
they fed my mother
ground-up piles of pallid

stuff in bowls clamped onto
a plastic tray and at first
she smiled, delicious, delicious,

as she sucked the oozing
juices, the last pap,
smiling surrounded by fellow

diners drooping and mumbling
in their places until
after a while she tightened

her lips against the food and
instead began unknotting,
unknotting the flowered

gown, unclothing her wasting
nakedness still white and smooth
and then at the very end,

when dreamy and slim
as a teen she welcomed
old friends and relatives who flickered

on the walls, the curtains
of the tiny room, nodding,
hello, sit down, to the shiny

nothing, she'd eat nothing
but chocolate, only chocolate,
so every day I brought an oblong

Lindt or Hershey
and square by square
she took in mouthfuls,

smiling and nodding, square
by square, delicious, dear,
until she finally

swallowed the whole dense bar.

by Sandra M. Gilbert from Belongings.

There are lots of ways we salvage ourselves when we reach the end of our ability to endure. In The Yellow Wallpaper she allowed herself to loose her mind to the woman in the paper. I take baths. Anyone else want to share?


1 comment:

michele MD said...

I immerse myself in the wonders of the wilderness, the grandeur of such places swallowing my problems and dissolving them to nothing.