Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Alzheimer's: The Wife" by C.K. Williams

She answers the bothersome telephone, takes the message,
forgets the message, forgets who called.
One of their daughters, her husband guesses: the one with the
dogs, the babies, the boy Jed?
Yes, perhaps, but how tell which, how tell anything when all
the name tags have been lost or switched,
when all the lonely flowers of sense and memory bloom and
die now in adjacent bites of time?
Sometimes her own face will suddenly appear with terrifying
inappropriateness before her in a mirror.
She knows that if she's patient, its gaze will break, demurely,
decorously, like a well-taught child's,
it will turn from her as though it were embarrassed by the
secrets of this awful hide-and-seek.
If she forgets, though, and glances back again,it will still be in
there, furtively watching, crying.

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