Sunday, 30 October 2011

Dear Doris

You smile in your sleep,
delicate hands flutter by
your cheek,
You graze your own chin
tenderly.

The nurses call out your name -
You smile as sweet
and sleep on.

Your grand daughter visits,
she calls you Nan,
she tells you of her day,
she rubs cream on your hands,
She wishes you would wake
when she calls you Nan,
but you smile as sweet
and sleep on.

© Shaista Tayabali, 2011   (The Rocking Chair image by Rosalie Scanlon)
for the Call and Response prompt at dverse poets ... this poem is dedicated to a patient on the stroke ward. She was in the bed next to mine, and I wished I could have known her. But she had long left this place. Where had she gone? Where do stroke patients go? She seemed peaceful there. It seemed a shame to disturb her, but when you can see someone in physical form, they seem present, and it is so difficult to not want to communicate, to call them back, to long for a response.

16 comments:

nene said...

When you find yourself lying in bed for a reason not of your own making remember there are those like me that wish to hear your thoughts especially those in your hearts mind. You have warmed heart and mind with your words to the simmer that is of my liking.

I don't know if your intention with this poem was to make an analogy of the state of mind of tiny infant's to that of one with a cerebral accident but this is what poked my curiosity.

I wondered of that very issue when my mother was temporarily mentally arresting during her battle with alzheimer's before she passed.

Thank you for your music of words between an infant and the 'nana'.

nene said...

:You have warmed "my" heart....

oceangirl said...

Shaista, everything about this is beautiful. You are gifted and you see with your heart.

Agnes said...

I agree with OceanGirl, everything about this post is so beautiful.

Claudia said...

oh this must be so hard for the family..when she's rubbing creme to her hand...really touched me..

libithina said...

but you smile as sweet
and sleep on.' ~ so touching ~ and so sad ~ but so real ~ wishes for her to awake ~ devotion of a grand daughter ~ compassion and humanity ~ throughout ~
~ Lib ~

Brian Miller said...

this has a lovely voice to it...and is oh so sad to see her such...even the smiles fail to stem my tears...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

She sounds so peaceful, Shaista. Your words, as always dance lightly on the page and are imbued with beauty, as are you. Keep shining!

Shaista said...

Nene - I know this must have been difficult to read, but I am so glad it warmed your heart. Alzheimer's is a battleground for everyone looking in from the outside...
I wasn't trying to make an analogy of infancy here, because babies react and respond for the most part.
Doris was unreachable.

Shaista said...

Oceangirl, Agnes, thankyou for your lovely words.

Shaista said...

Claudia, Lib, Brian - it was heart-rending to watch, and yet so incredibly heart warming too. In the UK so many elderly patients are left alone to fend for themselves in hospitals; no one visits and there I am with my loving family... it tends to throw their lonliness into sharp contrast. So when I see a relative like this young woman tending to her Nan, applying cream to her hands, knowing her Nan must always have done that for herself, I had to write about it. I wrote it there and then, and thought about giving the poem to the granddaughter, but I never know if that is the right thing to do, or if it is too much, too invasive. I never know. I often write poems inspired by other patients, but they never know!

Ruth said...

The rubbing of her hands with lotion, and the rubbing of spirits with your poem = love.

Dutchbaby said...

Your tender poem brings back memories for me. When my roommate was in a coma, I asked the same questions. Thank you for expressing this feeling so beautifully.

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Shaishta, Visited through Keats Sunshine Girl.I am delighted to read your post - heart warming poetry.God Bless you! You r welcome to my blog

kamana said...

so tender, so sad, so well written.

avecwings said...

beautiful words tenderly touched with feeling...!!! :)

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