Thursday, December 6, 2007

Parkinson's Changes

parkinson's changes

(c) by Elizabeth Southwood 1998

Melting like snow,
neurons go...
Her nerve fails her.

Like a flamenco dancer's
back, exquisite,
her foot arches - with cramp.

She painted neatly
as Mondrian -
now her method is pure Pollock.

She meditated in lotus,
balanced in stork -
now brain storms shake her.


Cream butterflies flit
past tangerine nasturtiums -
butterflies at rest.

Plum plucked from gnarled tree,
bitten, dribbles purple juice,
signing my white blouse.

Plums thud on the grass
already tasted by birds.
We nibble what’s left.

Glowing scarlet rose
petals kite up in the wind,
skitter over yard.

Cat moves sedately
away from oak, turns, charges
with sharp scimitars.

We all heard him groan,
he who’d purred and spoken mew.
Our tears stain his fur.

Male quail on the fence
watches little ones grubbing,
senses us through screen.

He trills in “our” yard,
feasts on warm sweet summer plums,
huddles in cold rain.

Black shadows move in,
make themselves at home, hiding
bright Greek whites, clean blues.

The trains in the night:
they carried Holmes & Watson,
Count Vronsky, Anna.

Through Copley Square, from
and to, I walked - with you in
starched blood-spattered white.

Her breast, cancerous,
gone, cells like fast-spreading lice,
below smooth young skin,

Fish scales glitter in
sunshine, as fish flop about
on bottom of boat.

On her thin gray hair
she clips a pink peony,
smiles flirtatiously.

Kissing away hurts,
mother knows works. Little one
watches, learns it does.

Leaves fall from the trees.
The sun shines through. Dusty yards
miss the shade’s cool dark.

A cypress tree sways
in the wind while a dancer
clicks her castanets.

He caught her eye, she
blushed, he tripped, she fell, he coughed,
steadied her and laughed.

-15 -
The songs you once played,
which haunt our old piano -
loud on moving day.

Books and cups crashed off
shelves, and milk puddled the floor.
Our refuge, chaos.

Baseball pitcher stands
like a matador, timing
his pitch; throws, bat cracks.

-18 -

Trophies gather dust.
Memories of tennis courts,
of running back, forth.

- 19 -

Motes dance in sunshine,
illuminated like snow
falling through porch light

No comments: